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Humana invests in reducing digital divide, improve health care access

LOUISVILLE, Ky.Humana Healthy Horizons in Kentucky, Humana’s Kentucky Medicaid Plan, this week announced a $207,000 investment that will upgrade infrastructure in Lyon County, Ky., to increase the availability of internet services and improve digital access to health care.

In a state that ranks 40th in the nation in broadband availability, the 8,271 residents of Lyon County in Western Kentucky have some of the greatest challenges in spanning the “digital divide” and accessing the benefits of telehealth resources. Internet service providers have long faced geographic and financial challenges to expand broadband infrastructure to this rural area. Additionally, because of the topography of Lyon County, line of sight wireless solutions and common cellular service oftentimes are not a viable solution.

Through a collaboration with Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White and internet service provider Fastnet, Humana Healthy Horizons in Kentucky will help provide needed capabilities in Lyon County, including:

  • Internet infrastructure to connect approximately 180 residents in two target areas with fiber optic cable and free broadband for 1 year.
  • Three internet community access points strategically placed throughout the county.
  • A telehealth hub for community residents to conduct private telehealth visits with local, regional and statewide hospital systems. The hub will help close care gaps by connecting patients to primary, urgent and preventive care, as well as internal medicine, cardiology and behavioral health services.
  • Educational resources to help strengthen residents’ knowledge of internet benefits, safety and affordability.

Humana Healthy Horizons’ investment will be used to fund the installation of an underground fiber network in the target areas, purchase wireless routers and provide one-year of free internet service for participating residential homes, create three hotspot access points in the community, construct a telehealth hub, and develop educational materials.

“Humana Healthy Horizons is extremely excited for the opportunity to invest in the internet infrastructure of Lyon County in our home state of Kentucky,” said Jeb Duke, Humana’s Kentucky Medicaid regional president. “Our investment will improve the community’s access to a statewide system of telehealth services, create better health outcomes for residents, and improve technological and educational equity in an area where those disparities are of great concern.”

Humana has served Medicaid populations continuously for more than two decades and currently manages Medicaid benefits for nearly 800,000 members nationally.

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