As President Obama completes his first 6 months in office, healthcare continues to be a major issue and source of great debate in this country. The problem is complex: millions of American workers and their families are uninsured or underinsured due to double-digit increases in healthcare costs, creating a phenomenon where healthcare costs are rising faster than wages. On this both parties agree. However, there is a great difference in opinion as to how to solve this healthcare crisis.
With such divergent views on how to tackle the problem of healthcare in this country, we are left more confused than encouraged. Workscape, a provider of outsourced benefit services, surveyed HR managers and found that a majority believe that neither political party offers a clear-cut solution. So the question becomes is it even possible to reform healthcare? Are we on the right track or going about it all wrong?
Some employers around the country are shifting their focus away from reforming our current system with all its inherent problems, and instead focusing on an approach that is health-oriented instead of sickness-oriented. This approach uses wellness programs geared toward keeping people healthy and providing incentives to employees for participating. Through these programs, employees are able to focus on their health first, and can rely on their healthcare system second, saving money and adding years to their lives.
In his book, “Saving Lives & Saving Money,” Newt Gingrich says that “proactively keeping people healthy with preventive care can do more to improve and prolong the quality of life at a lower cost than reactive acute care will ever be able to do.” And employers can reap the added benefit employee wellness can have on their bottom line.
Health care costs will only decline when employees are healthier. And healthier employees are more productive employees. Contact us for more information on wellness programs and initiatives. Submitted by Mitzi Fields Root, PHR, Sr. Consultant, IntegrityHR, Inc.