Employee Benefits: Healthcare Focusing on Quality of Life

Healthcare is typically defined by quantifiable results. Public health officials focus on the numbers; reducing mortality rates, cholesterol levels and hitting optimal blood-sugar levels for people with diabetes. Now, however, there is a new more subjective factor that is integrated into individual health; overall well-being.

The Center for Health Research released a study that examined the relationship between a patient’s overall well-being and healthcare costs. The results showed that people with high well-being were half as likely to visit the emergency room, half as likely to be admitted to the hospital, and 20% less likely to pay for a prescription. Overall, they spend 60% less on healthcare.

Focusing on well-being might seem difficult because it is a highly variable and murky concept that depends on each individual patient. However, well-being not only increases patient health but can also lower health care costs.

To measure health-related quality of life, the Center for Disease Control queries more than 430,000 people each year through its Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, that measures the “healthy days” people have in a given month. The results are used to reduce health disparities, identify unmet needs, and to evaluate and improve current care programs.

Public health officials are pushing for programs where nurses, doctors, or trained counselors meet with people and ask more personal questions on how their condition affects their day-to-day living. Patients are counseled on specific tools and tactics on how to manage those problems, and then follow-up with their counselors to track their progress.

The idea is a change from the traditional approach to chronic disease, but the logic rings true. According to the Wall Street Journal, people are more likely to manage their condition if they have personal goals, such as spending more time with family, than relying on more obscure numbers, such as their blood-sugar levels, as a target of good health.

As a business owner, your employee’s well-being can have significant benefits. Numerous studies show individuals with a high sense of well-being miss fewer days at work, use less medication, and are more engaged and productive. A strong employee benefits plan is a critical factor in building and preserving health, morale, and retention. Newman Crane is the right choice in designing a Benefits plan that will help acquire and retain the most talented and dedicated employees. Contact us today for more information.