Does the Future of Health Care Lie in Greater Emphasis on Wellness?
When the Colorado Health Foundation's 30th annual Colorado health symposium, "Value in Health Care: Improving Quality, Controlling Costs," gets underway this week in Keystone, one focus will be on prevention and wellness, and keeping people healthy so they can avoid a major illness and the breadth of its impact.
A recently enacted law in Colorado clears the way for more employers to add wellness programs in the workplace as a way of earning a discount on health insurance premiums. In turn, this could offer lower premiums to employees who show results. Just as attractive are the documented improvements in absenteeism and overall employee morale when employees are healthier.
Companies with wellness programs offer employees incentives to reach a number of different goals, like quitting smoking, losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and establishing a fitness routine. Annual assessments estimate the employee’s risk of chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease, and show the individual how much he or she has lowered these risks with healthier habits.
Are you currently participating in a wellness program? What incentives do you think work best?
Wellness and prevention also are key to the health care delivery concept known as “medical home,” in which the consumer can have a team of practitioners, not just one doctor, to help reach and maintain health goals.
On Colorado State of Mind this Friday, we’ll talk about why so many health care providers believe “medical home” is the wave of the future, and how it could change the way you interact with your physician.
-Cynthia Hessin, host of Colorado State of Mind