Both Humana Inc. and Cigna Corp. recently filled newly created positions to accelerate their work on analytics and technology — yet the managed care companies’ specific actions are quite different in their focus, an expert says.
Cigna recently named Gina Papush as global chief data and analytics officer, saying she will lead “enterprise data and analytics strategy” in “a newly created role to advance Cigna’s business and growth agenda.”
Separately, Humana said that it will establish a center for digital health and analytics, to be known as Humana Studio H, in Boston, where it expects to employ as many as 250 people within the next five years. The Louisville, Ky.-based company named Heather Cox to help lead the effort in the newly created position of chief digital health and analytics officer.
These are “two different hires/strategic moves,” according to Joe Paduda, principal with Health Strategy Associates, LLC. “It appears Cigna is focusing on analytics as a strategy enhancer, likely involving big data. In contrast, Humana is concentrating on digital health, a more consumer-facing approach. While there are undoubtedly overlaps between the two orientations, one is clearly more strategic, using data to drive overall business decisions and process, while the other is much more focused on enhancing the customer’s experience.”
Humana spokesperson Mark Mathis, when asked for specifics on the company’s Boston-based analytics work, said Sept. 5 that Cox “is still busy assembling her leadership team and getting acclimated.”
“I can tell you that Humana’s interest in Boston stems from the deep local talent pool and potential for strategic partnerships in the area,” Mathis said in an email. “It’s too early to speculate on exactly what projects might emerge from the new Humana Studio H.”