A recent New York Times article described
how American businesses are beginning to understand that preventing
illness is a more efficient and cost effective method of delivering
health care to employees. The article stated, "Many businesses are
seeking to reduce their medical bills by paying for programs to
help employees stop smoking. A decade ago, such programs were rare.
But recent surveys indicate that one-third of companies with at
least 200 workers now offer smoking cessation as part of their
employee benefits package. Among the nation’s biggest
companies, the number may be nearly two-thirds of employers."
It went on to say, "The programs are yet another example, along
with various other corporate wellness efforts like weight
management and diabetes control, of how private employers are
taking health care reform into their own hands, even as politicians
continue to debate proposals and tactics in Washington and on the
"For businesses, it is a bottom-line
calculus. Spending as much as $900 or so to give a participant free
nicotine patches and drugs to ease withdrawal, as well as phone
sessions with smoking addiction counselors, can more than offset
the estimated $16,000 or more in additional lifetime medical bills
that a typical smoker generates, according to federal health data."
The article goes on to explain that initiatives such as these may
be beyond the reach of small employers. Chances are good, however,
that based on the successful implementation of these programs in
large business settings similar programs targetted at small and
medium sized businesses will probably not be far behind.
Initiatives like these go a long way to support the philosophy at
Cognimmune that preventing mental illness is more cost efficient -
and ultimately more profitable - than treating it or suffering the
adverse effects it creates. What is even more significant is the
fact that the cost of a Cognimmune program is a small fraction of
the cost of the smoking cessation program cited while the lifetime
medical bills generated by mental illnesses can be substantially
larger than the $16,000 generated by a typical smoker. This means
that the costs are not prohibitive to small and medium sized
organizations and they stand to gain the same financial benefits of
much larger businesses.
It is also important to remember that mental illness can effect
anyone and, unlike smoking, is never an individual choice or
lifestyle decision! This simply means that prevention strategies
need to be more inclusive and aggressive. However, as we have
mentioned, there can be substantial cost benefits to this kind of
To learn more about how Cognimmune can help your organization feel
free to use the "contact us" link or simply click on the "What We
Do" link in the menu.
To read the entire New York Times article, use the link below.
Seeking Savings Employers Help Smokers Quit