Seeking Savings, American Businesses Choose To Prevent Illness

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 campaign trail.

"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 an approach.

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
 



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