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Humana Releases Results from Innovative Health Literacy and Healthcare Discrimination Screenings Pilot

2024-02-07 08:47 ET - News Release

Company Website: https://www.humana.com/
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- (Business Wire)

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading U.S. health insurer and healthcare services company, continues to make strides in advancing health equity by releasing the findings of its new pilot study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. Humana’s screenings analysis marks the first study conducted by a national health plan, focusing on the often overlooked but critical aspects of structural determinants of health, like perceived discrimination and health literacy.

“Learnings from this pilot have been very informative for our business and have led to a number of programs and interventions across the [Humana] enterprise,” said J. Nwando Olayiwola, MD, MPH, Chief Health Equity Officer & SVP at Humana. “We have expanded screening to digital and live modalities, strengthened our staff capabilities around understanding and responding to low/limited health literacy, and improved engagement with our members. This is the goal of any thoughtful screening programs- leveraging insights for tangible action.”

While many health plans screen for social determinants of health— conditions in which people live, work, play, learn, and worship— few systematically screen patients for structural determinants of health, which are the economic and social experiences and policies that influence health, such as discrimination and health literacy.

Humana has taken a decisive step forward by analytically screening patients for structural determinants of health, which significantly influence one's overall health and well-being. With this pilot screening, Humana aims to gain a deeper understanding of its members' experiences, allowing for the development of targeted interventions that effectively address these barriers.

The recently conducted pilot by Humana focused on the feasibility of screening newly enrolled Medicare Advantage members for health literacy and perceived healthcare discrimination via a carefully administered telephonic survey. The results revealed varying levels of feasibility for health literacy and perceived healthcare discrimination screenings, with health literacy yielding a higher response rate. Other key findings from the pilot study include:

  • Nearly 20% of respondents reported low/ limited health literacy.
  • An overwhelming 88% of respondents who reported perceived healthcare discrimination were Black.
  • Patients who reported low/limited health literacy were more likely to be Black, have a low income, and report feelings of loneliness/ isolation or food insecurity.

Candy Magaña, MPA, Director of Health Equity Innovation, Solutions, and Transformation at Humana, emphasizes the importance of this study, stating, “Because the literature on implementing these screenings in managed care settings is so limited, we felt it was important to understand the feasibility of screening using evidence-based, validated screening instruments and train our staff to administer them. This builds off our longstanding expertise in screening members for various social needs.”

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to putting health first – for our teammates, customers, and company. Through our Humana insurance services and our CenterWell health care services, we make it easier for the millions of people we serve to achieve their best health – delivering the care and service they need when they need it. These efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large. Learn more about what we offer at Humana.com and at CenterWell.com.


Jasmine Weatherby
Humana Corporate Communications
Email: jweatherby@humana.com

Source: Humana Inc.

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