Wellness Study Puts Price Tag on Unhealthy Behavior

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 18, 2011

It's not enough, however. "The idea is not just to make people aware of their health risks or chronic conditions but to give them resources to either reduce those risks or manage their chronic condition," Fabius says.

That process is expected to improve as data collection on healthcare behaviors improves. Fabius says he's gathering data that will identify future trends in healthcare behavior that will allow companies to plan ahead. "This allows HR directors to attend to issues upstream, and if you can prevent or reduce the unhealthy behaviors we know you can either prevent or delay the onset of chronic illness," he says.

If you're willing to look past the sales pitch from Thomson Reuters, Fabius makes a good point. With every new study, the data supports the common sense idea that wellness programs save money. In that respect, these are exciting times for HR, which will play a key role in devising wellness programs, and convincing everyone from the board room to the loading dock that it is money well spent.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Wellness Study Puts Price Tag on Unhealthy Behavior"

LessisMore (4/18/2011 at 3:31 PM)
Instead of putting in place all of these wellness programs and data collection schemes for the sake of wellness, why not just allow the cost of these conditions be factored into the individuals insurance rates. It would seem to be the most direct and honest way to reflect the risk of risky behaviors and provides a financial incentive to change them. Regulations the dictate the extent to which employers can differentiate premiums based on lifestyle seems dishonest and diverts more health care dollars into coercion and coercion systems. Let people decide their lifestyle and then make them responsible for the cost and outcomes of those choices. We need another health care growth industry like we need another quantitative easing.




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