Humana launches digital health, analytics initiative

Healthcare services and insurance provider Humana has launched a digital health and analytics initiative, including a new Boston-based center and the addition of 250 new hires within the next five years. The effort aims to advance Humana’s capabilities to support its integrated care delivery model.

The company also named Heather Cox as chief digital health and analytics officer. She will lead the new effort in the newly created position and report directly to CEO Bruce Broussard.

The move underscores the increasingly important role data is playing in the healthcare field to help major organizations stand out amongst a rapidly consolidating space.

“What we’re developing in Boston is a critical capability that can help Humana leap forward and overcome friction points to create a simplified, connected and personalized healthcare experience for our members and the physicians and others who provide their care,” Broussard said in a statement.

The new center, which will be known as Humana Studio H in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, will focus on developing new products and services for use across the organization. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2019. Humana is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and recently closed on several high-profile transactions, including a 40 percent stake in Kindred Healthcare’s home health business and Curo Health Services, a hospice provider.

Humana anticipates hiring as many as 250 employees at the Boston location over the next five years, the company announced. Cox will be accountable for building Humana’s digital care delivery operations and leading enterprise analytics, helping the organization accelerate toward “differentiated healthcare experiences.”

The center will also be home to a team focused on creating new health experiences for seniors under the direction of Beth Bierbower, who reports directly to Broussard.

“We understand that where lifestyle and healthcare intersect, there is an opportunity to influence health and well-being in a holistic way–especially for seniors,” Broussard said. “Digital technology and analytics are building blocks for devising products, tools and services that deliver on the promise of whole-person healthcare, and Heather Cox has the experience, vision and drive to innovate and boldly lead Humana’s efforts in these important areas.”

Prior to joining Humana, Cox was chief technology and digital officer at USAA. She has more than 25 years of experience in the space, including serving as CEO of Citi FinTech at Citigroup and heading Care Operations at Capital One.

“American healthcare can be enormously complex, but Humana’s expansion of its digital health and analytics capabilities can provide a game-changing platform to simplify and streamline the healthcare experience and ultimately improve members’ lifestyles by enhancing the quality of their healthcare,” Cox said in a statement. “Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of marrying technology with human needs, and I’m eager to apply my experience in a dynamic industry like healthcare."