Miller calls foul on Humana YouTube videos

Health insurer Humana hired some creative types to do a cutesy series of informational videos to post on YouTube and then to promote the videos to bloggers and presumably other media. Health Policy and Communications Blog author Michael D. Miller MD doesn’t like what he sees. I had a look at the videos myself and tend to agree with his conclusions.

The first video: Why is Healthcare So Expensive? has significant shortcomings. Bizzarely, Humana singles out prescription drugs as the biggest, fastest growing problem in health care spending, while not even mentioning medical imaging explicitly.

The second video: How Does Insurance Work? really bothered Michael:

Unfortunately, what it presents is an idealized version of social insurance.  As I expressed to the other people who received today’s email, “the video simplistically describes completely community rated insurance without any underwriting.  While this might have been somewhat effective in undermining the McCain campaign’s individual market proposal, it doesn’t reflect the reality of private health insurance in the US – and I don’t think Humana is an exception.”

So what is going on here?  I can only conclude that this is Humana’s attempt at some type of grassroots educational or propoganda campaign to convince people that the health insurance/managed care industry is all roses, and the problems in the healthcare system are elsewhere.  I don’t think they’ve achieved this.

It’s a fairly strange use of money. I don’t really know what the point is.

November 13, 2008

2 thoughts on “Miller calls foul on Humana YouTube videos”

  1. I hate to say this, but obviously whether good or not they are getting whatever it is they want to say out to more people than your article here is. Infact, I found your article by searching for Humana and youtube on google lol.. maybe you should make a youtube video explaining this. btw, only 12 year olds go on youtube so they are even smarter by targeting the future!

  2. Consultants should learn from folks like Humana. Too often industry experts seem to delight in complicating basic issues and concepts in order to protect the source of their revenue.
    Humana’s intent is obvious and they did it well.

    Doctors, the media, government officials, the insurance industry and it’s agents have done a terriffic job of confusing and frustrating the key stakeholder in the government healthcare process..the patients. Thanks, Humana for giving us a free, readily accessible, succinct overview of the system.

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