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Is the healthcare industry ready to shift the focus to the consumer? Humana’s CEO Bruce Broussard, who I heard speak at the HIMSS conference this week, thinks it has to.

Humana, in case you don’t know, is the nation’s third largest health insurance company, serving over 13 million customers. Its annual revenue is $41.3 billion.

But are healthcare consumers are ready to be consumers? In a discussion on LinkedIn, Upali Nanda shared that in a recent study of clinic visitors HKS found that an overwhelming majority of respondents (both millennial and boomers) thought of themselves as healthcare patients needing services, not consumers buying services.

That doesn’t surprise me, but it does concern me.

Because, as Nanda pointed out, activating and enabling patients to have a stronger voice in their health choices is really important to improving outcomes and lowering costs.

Certainly Humana’s Broussard believes this.

“We are in the business of improving health outcomes and making healthcare easier,” he told HIMSS attendees.

Sounds like they are the good guys, right? Well, maybe they are trying.

Design Drives Consumers

I bet, though, that Broussard doesn’t even know that the design of the physical environment can help improve health outcomes and make healthcare easier for his customers. If he did, would he care?

Going back to the 1980s when LDRPs were introduced, design has also been a driver of consumer choice. It has the power to attract and retain staff. And reduce costs.

So, there are many reasons design of the physical environment needs to be on the radar of the big insurance companies. Many of us have long felt that they might be a source of research funds.

Getting their attention, though, is going to be hard.  But we have to try.

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Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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