Wellness Incentives and the High Cost of Healthcare Essay

2009 Words9 Pages
Healthcare and wellness are important to every American, business and to our federal government’s bottom line. Sharon (2010) stated, “Staying healthy reduces the demand for health care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, medical care for persons with chronic disease accounts for 75% of the dollars spent as a nation on medical care. Today’s most serious and expensive health problems are caused, in large part, by poor lifestyle choices: tobacco use, diets high in fat and sugar, inadequate physical activity, and drug and alcohol use.” While the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) does currently…show more content…
Benavides noted that “wellness programs are not a quick fix solution to years of employee disregard for their health condition. In most cases at least a two year window is necessary to begin to see positive results. In any case, it is an option that provides a sustainable way to lower health care costs and improve the physical and mental well being of employees.” Under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, $15 billion over 10 years and another $2 billion each year to follow was allotted for healthcare and evidence-based outcomes (to generate and fund such wellness incentives as this paper proposes). Likewise, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allotted $160 billion total toward healthcare and wellness with $650 million specifically granted to address chronic disease strategies. With those funding sources in mind, it would be feasible for Secretary Sebelius to present a wellness incentive such as the one to the House of Representatives for their consideration and for the reallottment of those federal dollars into this program. Key Stakeholders Individual Consumers of Healthcare “Just as corporations exist to benefit their shareholder, community-based wellness programs exist to meet the needs of their stakeholders. The most important stakeholder in the community-based wellness programs are not politicians, or even government employees, but the members
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