University-Industry Engagement Week

U of Houston signs long-term strategic partnership with Humana

By David Schwartz
Published: October 9th, 2018

Health giant Humana Inc. and the University of Houston have entered a long-term strategic partnership focused on training future health care leaders, with a specific emphasis on advancing population health, improving health outcomes, and expanding the use of value-based payment models.

The two organizations are combining efforts to create the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute. The institute will link to the university’s new College of Medicine, as well as the existing colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Optometry. A $15 million gift over 10 years from Humana will help defray start-up and operational costs for the College of Medicine, as well as fund endowed chairs for each of the five colleges.

The strategic collaboration is designed to educate physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals so they graduate with training in population health and have a propensity for primary care and for working with the underserved.

“This is an investment in the future of our health care system, which depends on clinical leaders who understand concepts like population health, the importance of social determinants of health and the need to emphasize value over the volume of health care services provided,” said Humana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roy Beveridge. “The University of Houston is an ideal partner to continue Humana’s integrated care delivery evolution because we share a vision for addressing these imperatives and for caring for individuals in underserved communities with the greatest health needs.”

The partnership aligns with Humana’s “Bold Goal” effort to improving the health of the communities it serves 20% by 2020. The company is using population health tenets to pursue its goal, while also addressing social barriers to good health such such as food insecurity, social isolation and inadequate transportation.

“Humana and the University of Houston share a commitment to helping people achieve their best health with a focus on population health, primary care and value-based care,” said university President Renu Khator. “We have the unique opportunity to be innovative and synergistic in our approach and curriculum. We are serious about an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to health education that will make a life-changing difference in Houston and beyond, and this transformative gift clearly positions that dream to become a reality.”

The two organizations expect several opportunities for collaboration to arise from the partnership, including teaching opportunities for Humana subject matter experts, jointly developed curricula, research projects, and publications. U Houston also plans to establish “value-based care clinic labs” to give health sciences students and medical residents practical experience in the value-based approach to care.

“We have a commitment to the underserved in Houston, in Texas, and beyond. Training our students in and exposing them to real-world practices in population health, clinical quality and new payment models will provide them with a tremendous opportunity to improve the health of our community,” said Dr. Steve Spann, founding dean of the university’s College of Medicine. The new college is getting set to admit its first class of 30 students.

Source: BusinessWire

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week