CMO Dr. William Shrank on Humana’s physician strategy, ‘Medicare for All’ and home care as the Netflix of healthcare
| June 4, 2019 | Beckers Hospital Review
Humana wants to do for healthcare what Netflix did for home entertainment.
Humana’s CMO William Shrank, MD, said the insurer’s strategy for its 16 million members, most of whom are Medicare Advantage enrollees, is to meet patients where they are — at home.
“If you look at the movie industry, you see there was a time when people used to go to the retail outlet to buy or rent their DVDs, and now there’s a better service that’s more convenient. It’s more personalized in the home,” Dr. Shrank told Becker’s Hospital Review during an in-person interview June 4. “That’s our goal. Our goal is to be that more progressive solution that is patient-focused, convenient, integrated and meets patients where they are. It’s more of a Netflix kind of thing.”
For Humana, this means better leveraging data, technology and analytics to be proactive, and reaching out to patients before medical issues arise to provide appropriate services in their bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms.
It’s a different tactic than competitors like CVS Health/Aetna and UnitedHealth Group have used, but Dr. Shrank said that to Humana, home-based care is the future of healthcare. The insurer’s investments are evidence: Humana and two private equity firms bought Louisville, Ky.-based post-acute care provider Kindred Healthcare in a $4.1 billion deal, with the trio also buying hospice operator Curo Health Services for $1.4 billion.
Here, Dr. Shrank further discusses Humana’s at-home strategy and answers questions on the payer’s primary care moves, its partnerships with hospitals and the possibility of “Medicare for All.”
Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Question: CVS/Aetna just announced plans to open 1,500 “HealthHubs.” UnitedHealth’s Optum is acquiring physicians. Amid these moves from competitors, what’s your physician strategy?
Dr. William Shrank: The large payers — at least the three of us focused heavily on Medicare Advantage — are blurring the lines between payer and provider. We’re thinking more holistically about how we manage a population rather than figuring out how to pay claims. We are all taking a little bit of a different tactic. Ours is focused on the home, on meeting patients where they are. United is going to buy more and more primary care docs, and CVS is doing more in the retail space. We think the future of healthcare is going to be in the home. Read the full article