April 2008


In order to lower your healthcare costs and contributions, all employees need to take better care of themselves, go to proper quality doctors, and take prescription medication as prescribed.

As we all know, health insurance costs in the United States continue to grow at a rate far greater than inflation! What you may not know, however, is that the healthcare premiums your employer pays may or will increase dramatically.

As an organization, it has been your employers’ objective to provide employees and their families with affordable, quality health insurance coverage.

We thought it was important that you had a little understating of health insurance premiums. We wanted to share some fact with you so you understand why premiums are so high. It’s not just that the health insurance companies make a lot of money: and it’s no longer a case that doctors and hospitals make that much money. Your employers’ group costs are based on the claims of our employees and their families. The healthier the employee group is, the lower our costs will be. If we really want to lower our healthcare costs and contributions we need to take better care of ourselves, go to proper quality doctors, and take prescription medications as prescribed.

The healthier our group is, the lower our costs will be.

Recently, Corporate Synergies completed a root-cause analysis on a potential clients experience to understand why they were paying high costs for insurance; the results were surprising to upper management:

  • Among their covered employees and their dependents 327 people were NOT taking their medications – important drugs – as they were prescribed.
  • 158 people are taking “duplicate therapy” – two drugs that essentially do the same thing and when taken together, create medical problems for those individuals.
  • 30 people are taking medication prescribed by different physicians that will seriously and adversely impact their health. Two people are taking medication that interacts so badly, it may kill them.
  • Over 20 people in the next two years will have an inpatient cardiovascular event (heart attack) that most likely could be averted today! That’s out of the 87 people that were identified to have cardiovascular disease.
  • At least 420 people have diabetes.

We want you to live long healthy lives with affordable health insurance costs. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please also pass this on to your spouse. It is important that everybody support each other in this endeavor to control claims’ costs and our health.

Did your mother have diabetes?  Did your father suffer from heart disease?  Was there an aunt who was depressed?  A brother who has cancer?  You and your doctor need to know these things.  We know that staying well involves more than just visits to the doctor’s office – it is important to truly understand their family health history.

Health care professionals have known for a long time that common diseases – heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – and even rare diseases – like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia – can run in families. If one generation of a family has high blood pressure, it is not unusual for the next generation to have similarly high blood pressure. Tracing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help their doctor predict the disorders to which they may be at risk and take action to keep them and their family healthy.  

 

  • A detailed family medical history allows you and your doctors to:
  • Observe patterns and identify conditions and risks before they affect you or your families.
  • Prepare, plan or take steps to avoid these conditions.
  • Decide what test may be needed to come to a diagnosis.
  • Identify other family members who may be at risk and calculate their chance of passing certain diseases to their children.

 

Use a family gathering like Thanksgiving to interview family members about their health.  Try to include information about as many generations as possible.  Include half-brother and half-sisters since they too share some of your DNA.    Talk about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.  Try to get specific information: What kind of cancer?  At what age was it diagnosed?  Did the relative die?  At what age?

 

Save a copy and give one to your doctor.  Every Thanksgiving update the document as needed.   It’s worth taking the time to learn more about your relatives’ health.  As former U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona said: “The bottom line is that knowing your family history can save your life.”