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Humana Names Chief Innovation Officer

Former venture capitalist Christopher Kay is charged with driving innovation that will simplify the healthcare experience.

Innovation is a hot topic right now in the insurance industry, and the health insurance segment is no exception as carriers strive to transform their businesses in anticipation of massive regulatory and demographic changes. Louisville-based health and well-being company Humana has strived for years to incorporate innovation into its culture and offerings, and has raised the stakes on these efforts with the appointment of venture capitalist Christopher Kay as SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, effective March 17. Kay will report to president and CEO Bruce Broussard and serve on the company's management team.

[The Challenge of Defining Financial Services Innovation]

In his new role, Kay will lead Humana's innovation strategy. This will include a focus on innovations in personalized health designed to simplify the healthcare experience, leading to better health outcomes, according to a company statement.

"Chris is a keen innovator with a passion for creating new businesses in large organizations, and for launching products and services that enhance the consumer experience," Broussard said in the press release. "He brings a wealth of experience in consumer-facing industries to a pivotal role that is vital to Humana's future success."

"I am honored to join a leading-edge company that is dedicated to making healthcare easy for consumers while improving health outcomes," Kay said in the press release.

Kay was most recently Managing Director and CEO of Citi Ventures, Citigroup's global corporate venturing arm. On its web site Citi Ventures says it is "chartered to collaborate with internal and external partners to conceive, partner, launch, and scale new ventures that have the potential to disrupt and transform the financial services industry, drive client success, and generate new value for Citi."

At Citi Ventures, Kay led efforts to simplify and improve the banking experience for Citi's customers through the use of digital, mobile, data and other customer-centric solutions. Prior to joining Citi in 2007, he held several leadership positions at Target over a 12-year period.

Humana's efforts to leverage innovation and emerging technologies to help the company respond to dynamic change in the healthcare/health marketplace. In 2012 then-VP of Innovation Shankar Ram (who now holds the title VP, Strategic Alignment and Integration) told Insurance & Technology that the company aims "to make a paradigm shift from a healthcare provider to a health company … Everything we do is to see how we can join a few dots to live that vision."

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Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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