Article: Benefits of Health Care Programs for Corporate America
Copyright (c) 1994-1999 Wayne Pickering

Americans spent approximately $2 Billion on Health Care in 1994.

One billion dollars in everyday terms could be related to spending $100,000.00 every day for 25 years and at the end of that 25 year span, you would still have $87 million remaining.

Americans spent approximately $2 Billion on Health Care in 1994.

One billion dollars in everyday terms could be related to spending $100,000.00 every day for 25 years and at the end of that 25 year span, you would still have $87 million remaining.

According to a report from, "Health Promotion in the Work Place" by O'Donnell and Ainsworth, they state:

"Of the total Health Care expenditures in this country, approximately 96% is spent on treatment of illness and only 4% on disease prevention and health promotion."

Recently organizations have taken an interest in the health practices of their employees and the expenditures incurred as a result of these behaviors. Employers are beginning to realize that there are no "quick-fix" solutions to medical inflation and are now considering long term solutions and they are focusing attention on the consumer demand for health services.

From the DIETARY GOALS for the UNITED STATES by the U.S. Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs states:

"The Order of Killers in our Nation are all DIET RELATED."

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke
  4. Diabetes
  5. Obesity

According to Dr. Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic states:

"Normal Resistance to Disease is directly dependent upon Adequate Food!"

Dr. Bernandine Healy, director of the National Institute of Health (which includes the National Cancer Institute) points out that:

  • "Two-thirds of all the deaths in the U.S. are directly related to lifestyle choices, including what we eat."
  • "Eating more fruits and vegetables is an astoundingly simple and pleasant way of decreasing your risk of cancer and other diseases."

And from a study by Amier & Dull entitled "Closing the Gap --The Burden of Unnecessary Illness", they state:

"Much of the illness & premature death in the United States can be prevented."

  1. Over 10,000 epidemiological studies support the relationship between health risk factors and illness and injuries which account for over 73% of the mortality in the United States. These include heart disease, strokes, cancer, liver disease, accidents, homicide and suicide.
  2. Available literature supports that employees with deleterious lifestyles and other health risks experience higher health benefit costs. Analysis of health benefits claims identify 10-25% of total claims as "excess" or preventable' lifestyle related costs.
  3. Several studies point to higher rates of absenteeism among the high risk population. Heart disease alone is annually estimated to cause 132 million lost work days and $27 Billion in lost work output.

Introducing health promotion at the worksite makes sense for a variety of reasons....

  1. The cost of delivering services to large numbers of people is reduced since populations are often concentrated in one location, where organizational structures for communications and program coordination already exist.
  2. Long-term intervention and change is possible given a stable population.
  3. Attempts at behavior and attitude changes are enhanced in a supportive environment where peers act as role models and coaches.

Reasons for Employer Interest in Health Promotion:.

  1. Improvement in Productivity:
    • Reduced absenteeism including a reduction in the number of sick leaves and mental health days.
    • Improved company morale from a feeling by workers that the employer is concerned about their health and well-being!
    • Improved ability to perform since employees are healthier both physically and mentally.
  2. Reduction in Benefit costs:
    • Reduced health benefit costs through reduced utilization of health care services and more conscientious and intelligent use of these services.
    • Reduced Life Insurance costs through premium discounts for nonsmokers and those who practice healthy lifestyles.
    • Reduced workers' compensation costs through a reduction in claims for accidents, back injuries and smoking related fires.
  3. Reduction in Human Resources Development costs:
    • This can be realized through reduced recruiting, education and training costs caused by employee turnover. Employees who are drawn to the company because of the company's progressive thinking and perceived caring for its employees are less likely to resign.




In Summation:

The benefits of an effective health promotion are:

  • Reduction in morbidity and mortality
  • Employer health benefit savings
  • Reduction in absenteeism and disability
  • Increased productivity and competitiveness
  • Enhanced company morale
Wayne Pickering
Center for Nutrition & Life Management, Inc
1 Glowing Health Way
Box 26-3030
Daytona Beach, FL 32126-3030
Tel: 1-866 MANGOMAN (626-4662)
Fax: 1-772-382-8487 Tel: 1-386-441-4487

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