Healthcare Reform - The missing link
Below are a list of articles that were posted prior the November 2008 elections. I posted these in Cato's blog yesterday but I dont think many people got to see them. The healthcare industry recognized that healthcare costs were too high and were already coming up with ways to lower them. However after the current administration was elected, these stories disappeared. I applaud the efforts of employers and insurance companies trying to lower healthcare costs by giving incentives to the consumer to be healthy. Unfortunately these measures are completely missing from the current healthcare law.
Safeway Traces Lower Health Costs to Preventive Care PlanAn employee health plan offered by supermarket chain Safeway that focuses on preventive care reduced company health care costs by 11% for nonunion employees in 2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The plan, which was offered in January 2006 to the company's nonunion workers, includes a $2,000 deductible and limits out-of-pocket spending to $3,000 for family coverage. Out-of-pocket costs partially are offset by a company contribution of $1,000 to a health reimbursement account for the household, and unused funds in the HRA are rolled over to the next year.
The plan, administered by Cigna, covers all preventive care services that are appropriate for a beneficiary's age group. It also offers a 24-hour hot line staffed by registered nurses, services to help people manage chronic conditions and incentives designed to promote healthier lifestyles, among other benefit
HMO fitness program may lower health care costs
Offering diabetic seniors the opportunity to participate in a subsidized community-based exercise program may help lower health care costs, if they attend the classes regularly, preliminary study findings suggest.
"These findings warrant additional investigations to determine whether policies to offer and promote a community-based physical activity benefit in older adults with diabetes can reduce health care costs," conclude Dr. Huong Q. Nguyen, of the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues.
According to previous research, nearly one in five Medicare recipients have diabetes, and diabetes-related health care costs account for about a third of total Medicare expenditures.
Companies set up on-site clinics hoping to lower health care costs
Dr. Suzanne Palmieri works at a family health clinic in Saratoga Springs.
On a typical day, she will perform physicals and baby well-care exams, give immunizations, treat colds and flu, and check blood pressure. Her workplace is your average primary care center, with one big difference: It is inside the Quad/Graphics plant on Duplainville Road.
The commercial printer, which is based in West Allis, Wis., and has 1,000 workers in Saratoga Springs, is one of a growing number of employers fighting rising health costs by offering workers on-site care.
This article was posted yesterday but I dont think it got much attention:
Experts: One-third of breast cancer is avoidable
BARCELONA, Spain – Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a breast cancer conference said Thursday, renewing debate on a sensitive topic.
While better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed the disease, experts said the focus should now shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity. The comments added to a series of findings that lifestyle changes in areas such as smoking, eating, exercise and sun exposure can have a significant effect on all sorts of cancer rates.
Now don't get me wrong. Healthcare Reform is now law and I accept that. But without any measures to address personal responsibility, I can't help this nagging feeling that healthcare costs are going to continue to go up.