Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prevention Is Key Part Of Any Real Health Reform

"In a nutshell, our problem is that our health care system is built on the concept of providing disease care, not wellness care. We reward fixing what’s gone wrong, rather than rewarding behaviors that prevent things from going wrong in the first place. Study after study shows that preventive measures like a better diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation and programs to reduce stress can have a positive effect on health and even reduce and reverse the progress of chronic disease. Today’s Americans stand to benefit from this increased synergy, especially the theme of prevention, when you consider that an estimated 40 percent of premature deaths are caused by lifestyle choices like poor eating habits, smoking and inactivity. Prevention was also the major theme in the recent health issue of Time magazine (June 22, 2009), which cited the 1,100-bed Cleveland Clinic as a model of high-quality care based on the concept of wellness. Dr. Delos Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic, believes healthy behavior should be rewarded and people should think about health as a self-responsibility and an investment. The idea of wellness as an investment makes sense. After all, sick employees cost employers in terms of higher insurance premiums, sick days and lower productivity. Conversely, by preventing preventable diseases, we could save billions … plus save lives."


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