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Prevention and How it Relates to Health Care and Health Insurance

Many Americans in the health care profession have grown tired of the HMO prevention model where supposedly having good access to primary care would in fact save money over the long haul, as this benefit never actually materialized as most Americans would agree the HMO model and entire managed care system is a failure.

However, prevention as a way lowering health care costs has worked for many large companies by getting more out of their workforce.

Johnson & Johnson the large conglomerate has been offering comprehensive primary medical care to its employees for several years.   Internal studies have concluded that these programs have saved $225 per participating employee per year.

This result flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that it will take decades to see primary care and preventative medicine begin to pay back in savings.   Most of these programs have turned out to be a lot of hot air, but in the case of J&J, who offer smoking cessation, weight and stress management classes, and of course my favorite an onsite gym the results have been magnificent.

Even more impressive is the $500 dollar health insurance rebate employees receive for merely participating in these life extending programs.  So of course it will not surprise anyone that 85% of the workforce at J&J actually participates in these healthy programs.

The savings to J&J will manifest themselves both as insurance premiums savings and productivity as well as the good feeling that 70% of their health care costs will be prevented through these lifestyle changing programs.

Many companies are not yet ready to take the plunge into prevention programs as the Obamacare bill might end up taking the impetus off of them to create health insurance premium savings depending on the final version of the bill that is passed.

But even if the bill should go as far as mandating premiums (which it most likely won’t or can’t) companies and individuals should go the extra step in lifestyle modification and prevention for the mere sake of productivity.

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