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Technology Personalizes Health Information for Consumers

Humanas Dr. Jack Lord Urges Quicker Technology Adoption in Health Sector


Wednesday, May 9, 2007 9:30 am EDT



Public Company Information:


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Jack Lord, senior vice president and chief innovation officer for Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), today urged national health care leaders to speed up the adoption of technology to increase consumer understanding of and engagement with their health and wellness.

At the Value-Driven Health Care Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Lord said, Americans are ready to embrace technology in a new arena. Technology has become such a useful tool in every part of our lives with the exception of health care, and our industry must join the rest of the world in striving for greater efficiency, higher quality and lower costs through the better utilization of technology.

The conference featured remarks by HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and by leaders at Humana, UnitedHealth, Aetna, Cigna, WellPoint, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the Service Employees International Union and the Business Roundtable.

Dr. Lord touched on three areas during the conference: Harnessing the power of technology through personal health records, delivering personalized health and savings advice in a consumer-accessible format, and providing personalized health and wellness information through wireless mobile devices.

Providing Information at the Point of Care

Availity, a collaborative effort between Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, has deployed Floridas first true payer-based electronic health record. The Availity Care Profile (ACP) is an electronic record that contains a consolidated view of patients health care services across all physicians and providers, helping to improve patient safety, eliminating duplicate medical procedures and aiding in the reduction of unnecessary services and fraud.

I can log on to any computer in the world and see my ATM and banking history, regardless of where Ive purchased an item. However, if I go to my physician, who is just down the street from my pharmacy, she has no idea what prescriptions, tests or procedures other providers may have performed, said Dr. Lord. Availity changes all of that. Now every visit, every prescription, every procedure performed in a Florida hospital by a practicing physician will be accessible in one location.

Point-of-Care Partners, a consortium of independent general management and marketing health information technology consultants, recently evaluated the success of the ACP pilot. One of their significant findings was physicians and office staff using the product were saving time in the assembly of information that is not readily available in the patients medical record. Physician respondents reported spending three to six minutes less on intake and assessment during the average patient visit when the ACP is available. The ACP leads to a more productive encounter for both the patient and physician when compared to the typical office visit where there is no ACP. In summary, the ACP is helping physician offices to become more efficient both before and during the patients visit.

In Florida, 100 percent of hospitals and 95 percent of doctors are registered for Availity. Availity was rolled out to the Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico markets in late 2006. Humana providers in Illinois are also able to register for Availity.

SmartSummary Makes Smart Sense

As the health care industry continues to move toward greater consumer engagement and responsibility, consumers and businesses need to take advantage of innovative solutions that make health insurance more accessible and affordable, and provide guidance to individuals as they seek to make informed decisions.

In 2006, Humana introduced SmartSummary, a proprietary, personalized health care statement that clearly illustrates both benefits and costs. Its Humanas answer to the hard-to-understand Explanation of Benefits and, more fundamentally, a means for consumer clarity. SmartSummary provides information on a specific members health-related activities, including coverage limits, current amounts left in deductibles and an overview of claims, including prescriptions, tests, FSA activity and a personal health history.

SmartSummary delivers to consumers a better understanding of even the most basic health benefits and wellness information, believing that this knowledge empowers them to more fully engage with their health care and manage their health-related finances.

More than 40 million SmartSummary statements have been distributed to Humana Medicare and Commercial members.

The New Frontier

The wireless revolution has enabled consumers to take control of their lives through consolidation, simplification and connectivity via technology. With the advent of podcasting and text messaging, wireless phones and PDAs have become a platform for information delivery. This ubiquitous and simple device can now impact consumer health care behavior.

Sensei, a joint venture between Humana and Card Guard, is a wireless information platform through which subscribers can receive personalized nutrition, weight loss information, fitness notifications and medication reminders through their mobile phones and/or PDAs.

By using technology to influence behavioral changes we will be able to encourage consumers to eat healthier, work healthier, play healthier and of course, live healthier, said Lord.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services through traditional and consumer-choice plans to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance Information.

About Availity, L.L.C. Patients. Not paperwork.®

Availity optimizes the flow of information between health care professionals, health plans, and other health care stakeholders through a secure internet-based exchange. The Availity® Health Information Network encompasses administrative and clinical services, supports both real-time and batch transactions via the Web and electronic data interchange (EDI), and is HIPAA compliant. Availity is the recipient of several national and regional awards, including Consumer Directed Health Care, A.S.A.P. Alliance Innovation, eHealthcare Leadership, Northeast Florida Excellence in IT Leadership, E-Fusion, Emerging Technologies and Healthcare Innovations Excellence (TETHIE), and AstraZeneca-NMHCC Partnership. For more information, including an online demonstration, visit www.availity.com or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).


Humana Corporate Communications
Chris Curran, 502-580-1084
E-mail: ccurran@humana.com