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A Healthy Way for Businesses to Cut Costs

Businesses are starting to catch on — preventive health care saves money!

Lower Healthcare Costs with Preventive Care

The New York Times Sept. 2, 2012 article “Health Care Where You Work” discusses a survey conducted last year by Towers Watson and the National Business Group which found that 23 percent of midsize and large employers offered on-site health services and 12 percent more planned to in 2012.

While this is not yet a majority, the results of the survey showed a 50 percent increase in companies offering on-site health services. This encourages preventive care, as employees have easy access to healthcare through their employers.

The article references Bellin Health, a not-for-profit health care system based in Green Bay, Wis. Bellin is contracted by other companies to run clinics on-site for the companies. Bellin keeps the clinics staffed part-time by nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. The clinics treat minor ailments as well as conduct preventive screenings.

Companies report that this has lowered health care spending. The Foth Companies, an engineering and consulting firm, spends about $5.5 million a year on health care. Bellin saves them an estimated $250,000 a year through its on-site clinic and other preventive care.

The Fincantieri Marine Group builds ships for the Navy at its facility in Marinette, Wis. The company spent about $17 million on health care. After Bellin set up a clinic in a trailer at the plant in early 2011, total spending was down to $15 million, despite a growing work force.

The article says that “Health experts have published research in journals like the Harvard Business Review and Health Affairs showing that every dollar invested in employee wellness programs saves multiple dollars by lowering a company’s health care costs, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.”

Preventive Health Care Helps Patients

Preventive health care not only saves money, but helps patients. By focusing on staying healthy rather than fixing ailments, patients enjoy simpler, more cost effective care. As a patient, you can advocate to treat your health as something to maintain, rather than fix.

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Rebecca S. Busch, Healthcare Advocate

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