Health Care Costs Still Outpacing Economic Inflation
A Report from the Health Research Institute:
The Health Research Institute released a report in June 2015: They’ve found that while “spending growth in the $2.9 trillion US health economy is expected to slow in 2016 as compared to 2015... it will still outpace overall economic inflation.” So while there is reason to celebrate, health spending cannot continue to increase faster than inflation. It just isn’t a viable, economic model. The two reasons they cite for this trend are: new speciality drugs, and cyber security breaches. In the New Health Economy, they believe that employers have to employ strategies that will benefit the bottom line, as well “equip workers to make informed health decisions,” using new tools and new technology. The Health Research Institute also promotes a more holistic system of wellness. After all, it it is still far more cost effective to prevent disease than to treat it. Here are some of their suggestions:
What We Can Do
First, they remind us, that, yes, chronic diseases can be managed with healthier lifestyles. While the new speciality drugs are impressive in their utility, they carry with them a designer price tag. Wellness Programs use new tools and technology, like biometric screening, to accurately track the health of the whole body; blood pressure, glucose levels, heart rate. This creates meaningful data for the individual; who, in turn, can make meaningful and long lasting changes in their lifestyle.
Second, adoption of virtual care will drive costs down. In the very near future, virtual care will become mainstream for everyone. They believe this means less visits to the emergency room. Patients with fever and muscle aches can tap into a virtual care provider who, for example, can diagnose them with the flu, and if necessary, write a prescription for antibiotics, with instructions to rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Third, we can “collaborate to promote healthy lifestyles in communities.” Organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care in the United States, assists communities all around the country in improving policy and programs to improve wellness. The Health Research Institute claims that “to move the population health needle, organizations, again, must approach prevention from a holistic manner.”
Fourth, they suggest we can tap into technology to promote behavior change. We have awesome software that can inspire employees to really think about what is best for their overall health. For example, a person might notice that they’ve gained some weight, and make a vague promise to themselves to eat more vegetables. But, if they’ve been tracking their BMI or their cholesterol levels, or their blood pressure, with our software, they might also notice a concomitant rise in these levels, and turn that vague promise into an actionable strategy to get healthier. This software also increases motivation, engagement, and teamwork.
Contact us today to find out how Training Amigo can bring the benefits of the New Health Economy to your business.