Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Preventable Disease and Healthcare Costs

Recently, I wrote about the relationship between unhealthy behavior and healthcare costs at a macro level.

There is an excellent article appearing in the The Seattle Post Intelligencer by Dan Richman which provides insights into the micro economic impact a properly structured health risk assessment, wellness and care management program can have on an employers health insurance premiums.

Health insurance aims to spread the cost of care among an entire insured group. But 10 percent of the U.S. population generates between 70 percent and 80 percent of health care costs, through large claims from serious illnesses such as cancer, strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

That means the other 90 percent of the population is paying a share of the costs disproportionate to its consumption of health care. But 70 percent of cancer, 71 percent of cardiovascular disease and 92 percent of adult-onset diabetes can be avoided if people change their behavior, said ClearPoint managing partner Kevin Overbey, citing journals of occupational medicine.

A popular hypothesis states that if 30 percent of people improved their diets, simply moved about more and dealt better with stress, health care costs could be reduced 24 percent per year nationwide, he said.

The right Group Guy can impact your costs as Kevin is doing in Seattle. Nice work.

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