Humana, University of Houston launch value-based care specialization course

Humana and the University of Houston have teamed to launch a specialization course aimed at assisting health professionals in learning how to implement value-based care.

The online, flexible course is available globally through the Coursera platform, the partners announced on Wednesday. The specialization track includes six courses and a capstone project, ranging in topic from quality improvement to reimbursement to population health.

Learners can choose to take each course individually, earning a certificate of completion for each, or to run all seven sections, Humana and UH said.

LeChauncy Woodard, M.D., founding director of the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, told Fierce Healthcare that designing the program allowed the team to take advantage of the knowledge held both by Humana experts and those at the university.

"I think this endeavor is a really great example of how we’re able to leverage the expertise that exists with our partners at Humana and our colleagues here on the University of Houston campus," she said.

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The institute has focused on embedding value-based care and other, more modern medical concepts into students' education, and launching a course dedicated to moving away from fee-for-services was a logical progression for the team.

Woodard said that the team brought on experts from the university's College of Education, for example, to ensure that the specialization course was designed to be as effective for teaching as possible.

In addition, she said the institute brought together experts from all of its medical professions to gather their input on how best to tackle value-based care from the lens of different roles within healthcare.

Tray Cockerell, director of strategy advancement for Humana, told Fierce Healthcare that while the course is initially targeted to practicing providers and healthcare industry leaders looking to transition to value-based care, the institute is also looking at ways to get "upstream" and make it a key part of the students' learning as well.

For Humana's part, he said that a number of subject matter experts at the insurer formed a steering committee to provide input on the design of the course.

"It seemed like a really natural step for us to take as an institute," Cockerell said.