October 13, 2006
You say you want a revolution (part 3 of 3): encouraging better health
The consumer-driven healthcare (CDHC) revolution will continue to transform our healthcare system one step at a time. One of the most powerful opportunities it has to make its mark both in your family, and in the world at large, is in wellness care.
Prevention literally pays when it comes to health! Studies have shown that good wellness programs with high participation rates can get about a $3 return on investment for every dollar spent. We are finally beginning to realize the direct connection between living a healthy lifestyle and reduced medical expenses, and we are beginning to view our health as an economic asset!
Because CDHC is based on the premise that the consumer is gaining information, taking responsibility, and becoming more in touch with the true cost of health care, this participant is by design more open to learning about the benefits of wellness care, and research bears this out. Studies show participants in CDHC are 50 percent more likely to ask questions, and routinely identify treatment alternatives independently.
Whether you are talking to an employer, an insurer, or a plan participant, all ears perk up when you start comparing the cost of a little wellness care versus the cost of caring for a sick person. With that in mind, most High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) include coverage for preventive care. In other words, you don’t have to meet your deductible just to have a routine physical. Check your policy for these benefits; most plans allow for up to five wellness visits per year!
What is most interesting is that this correlation between consumer incentives and consumer behavior isn’t just an idealistic theory, the data shows that the incentives provided by CDHC are truly having a systemic impact on people’s health.
As reported by AIS Health, a recent study by McKinsey and Company showed that compared with people enrolled in a traditional health plan, CDH enrollees were 30 percent more likely to get an annual checkup and other preventive tests (e.g., mammograms, prostate exams) because they thought it would save them money in the long run.
CDH enrollees also were 20 percent more likely to take part in a company-sponsored wellness program. The study also found that chronically ill patients enrolled in a CDH plan were 20 percent more likely to say that they followed a treatment regimen than were patients enrolled in a traditional plan.
The revolution is upon us and we have an opportunity to literally change the face of healthcare. Embrace the transparency of the system as a way to gain control of spiraling costs. Utilize cost comparisons and quality ranking as a consumer tool to secure the best healthcare for your family that is available to you. And enjoy the long-term fiscal, as well as physical benefits that wellness care pays out.
The revolution is for your benefit. Take your health and live well with it!
This is the third of a three part series of articles on the larger impacts of the consumer-driven healthcare revolution. Reprinted with permission from www.consumerdrivenguy.com. For more information, contact Mike Turney at 614/326.4875 or email@example.com. HRH is the endorsed insurance agency of the Columbus Bar since 1989.