Corporate Leadership in a Technology Driven Economy

Brief Background

President & GM, Anthem BCBS Connecticut

VP, Payment Innovation, Anthem, Inc.

VP, UnitedHealthcare

Attorney, Shareholder, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale

Married, Mother of 3

Jill Hummel serves as the President & General Manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut where she leads the development of Anthem’s long-term strategic direction and collaborates with key stakeholders, e.g. government officials, providers, employers, to meet the needs of Anthem’s members. Today, however, consumers/patients tend to expect more from Amazon or Apple than they do from healthcare providers and health insurance companies. Anthem is a digital first company on a mission to improve lives and community, simplify healthcare and expect more! For Jill this means delivering great services and exceeding customer and consumer expectations in an effort to change that mindset. Thanks to technological advances, Anthem is able to develop content and offer programming tailored to the medical, behavioral, social and financial needs of each consumer. Jill shares how her position and experiences enable her to make an impact at Anthem and for those Anthem serves.

In your own words, how would you define innovation and/or entrepreneurship? How does in manifest in your work?

I think entrepreneurship is recognizing the needs of consumers, even before they do. Apple did this with the iPhone and changed the world. At Anthem, we are adopting a digital-first approach to our work and connecting with consumers when they want and how they want, putting them at the center of everything we do. Timely access to medical information has been a stumbling block for creating a seamless consumer experience. With advances in technology (blockchain), we will provide a faster, safer and more secure way to exchange medical information to transform the delivery of healthcare. We can use this greater exchange of information in coordination with other technology (Artificial Intelligence (AI)), to allow consumers to see important clinical information in real time to drive engagement and outcomes. However, just because we are digital first does not mean we’re digital only. That in mind, innovation includes as taking an existing practice and repurposing it to be more effective and/or efficient. An example of this is the Anthem subsidiary, CareMore Medical Group, a multi-disciplinary team of providers including physicians, nurses, LSCWs, etc., who visit the homes of our sickest patients to design a customized care plan that takes into account the unique circumstances that affect their health and medical needs. We repurposed existing resources to address these needs and as a result we have seen decreased emergency room visits and hospitalizations and an overall improvement in quality of life for this population. Sometimes innovation simply involves radical commonsense!

How has your professional and/or academic experience influenced the way in which you approach entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership? Any specific instances you can share?
I’m a recovering attorney, and just recently surpassed my tenure as a lawyer with 18 years in business in non-legal roles. However, the methodologies I used for 17 years as a practicing lawyer are hard to shake and have been valuable. For instance, one thing you learn as a lawyer is that facts matter! So, I tend to be very fact based because it’s one of the best ways to defeat cognitive biases. The best way to ruin a good sounding argument is by working hard to get to the facts. Additionally, I have grown to appreciate debate. I’m a half-full person, and while that has its positives, being challenged ensures that the hard questions are being asked and the final product is the best version of what we can deliver. I would rather be told what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear. Lastly, my experience has helped me to be a better decision maker. Critical thinking skills are important to decision making and you hone those as an attorney.

From your experience, what has changed the least, yet still has major impact regarding gender parity within entrepreneurship, technology and healthcare?
Women have come a long way in terms of progress and equality, especially in the workplace. Women have outpaced men in college attendance and as degree recipients over the past 20 years; 42% of working women are mothers; and, 49% of employed women are the family’s breadwinner. These are incredible statistics and when I started out as a young professional in 1984, this was not the case. However, there are plenty of things that have not changed or haven’t changed as much as they should. More women are working outside the home yet are still the primary party responsible for home and family duties, i.e.: taking care of aging parents and children and doing household chores. In my case, I had 3 children and was still the one taking them to doctors’ appointments or picking them up in case of emergencies. And even though I have a very supportive husband, his employers did not afford him the flexibility to take care of “home.” There is a double standard in the workplace, where he was expected to have a wife to manage family related obligations while I was expected to handle them even though our children had two very capable working parents. A piece of advice for couples, and especially parents, seek out leaders and companies that embrace 21st century ideals. Putting words into action and enforcing policies that create a supportive culture for men and women with families to be able to share in the responsibilities of taking care of them.

Lecky’s Final Thoughts

Organizational change demands highly effective and competent leadership. Effective leaders of organizational change have to stay current in order to stay relevant. Our featured leader provides insightful advice. Factually based assessments unhinged from personal views or experiences assures the appropriate outcomes.

If you would like to recommend a female entrepreneur in healthcare technology to be featured, we encourage you to contact us.

Contact information:
Sharon Mwale       Program Manager        [email protected]