Can Employers Promote Personal Responsibility? Should They?
Business owners, CFO’s and HR executives across the country are troubled over the escalating costs of providing health insurance for their employees. Unfortunately, the statistics for the future look grim. Some estimate that the United States health-care system will cost $4.6 trillion dollars, (that’s Trillion with a T) by the year 2020. However, buried deep down among all of the statistics, may be a shining ray of light.
Bloomberg Businessweek Chairman Norman Pearlstine invited a panel of health care industry experts to address the question “How do we fix health care?”. The discussion revealed many of the issues that contribute to the cost of providing medical care in America. The most enlightening facts were not how much medical care in the US costs, but who is actually using the care … and why.
Click here to view the panel discussion.
The Ten Percent (10%) Solution
Dr. Ralph De La Torre, Chairman and CEO of Steward Health Care System reported Medicare data which indicates that twenty to thirty percent (20% - 30%) of patients utilize eighty percent (80%) of our medical resources. Dr. Greg Curfman, Executive Editor for the New England Journal of Medicine drilled down even deeper. He states “The numbers are very clear. Ten percent (10%) of the population consumes sixty three percent (63%) of the total health-care dollars in this country. One percent (1%) consumes twenty percent (20%) of the health-care dollars. Fifty percent (50%) of them consume nothing at all. So this is the issue, and we have to get a better handle on the ten percent (10%).”
The answer seems clear, identify the ten percent (10%) of Americans that are utilizing more than sixty percent (60%) of the nation’s medical resources, then control or eliminate the causes. If we can cut the ten percent (10%) in half through lifestyle changes, patient advocacy and therapy, America’s health care costs can be reduced by thirty percent (30%).
Lower Company Medical Costs with PR
Is it the responsibility of business owners and corporations to promote personal responsibility? What can an organization gain by motivating employees to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and to get 7-8 hours of sleep? Studies have shown that improvements in mental and physical fitness contributes to a more cognitive, effective, and productive workforce. How can employers’ start to reduce their medical costs, and lower health insurance premiums?
Today, it is easy and inexpensive for companies to improve employee engagement and identify your ten percent (10%) at the same time. With no more effort than clicking on a website, anyone can discover their projected longevity. Individuals with medical conditions - present and future can receive a personalized health care protocol designed specifically for them.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation’s founding fathers, inventor and statesman is quoted as saying “An ounce of prevention … is worth a pound of cure”. I think it’s time America took his advice.
Here are a few ways that employers can take the lead.
The Real Age Test
A calculation of your body’s health age. Created by top doctors, including Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz. It uses the latest medical research to develop personalized tips and action plans based on one’s answers. By linking behaviors to increasing or decreasing your age, the approach allows anyone to compare different lifestyle factors and prioritize their efforts.
The Prevention Plan
The Prevention Plan Includes:
- Annual subscription to The Prevention Plan web-based program
- Comprehensive online Health Risk Assessment
- Extensive blood panel at a Quest Diagnostics® Patient Service Center including 25 results* for cholesterol (heart), fasting blood glucose (diabetes), liver, kidney and thyroid function, bones, and fluids and electrolytes.
- Personalized Prevention Plan that explains and prioritizes your health risks and recommends the steps you should take to improve your health.
- Recommended prevention screenings, schedule and alerts based on age, gender and risks.
- Personal Prevention Score roadmap to track your progress and motivate you over time
- 24/7 Nurse Line …. and much more.
We welcome your comments and contributions. Let us know how you are engaging your employees and promoting personal responsibility among your workforce.