The first problem in proving the value of wellness programs, of course, is that the data, while considerable, is also anecdotal. Further, the use of wellness does not necessarily correlate to some of the results claimed. Finally, though this is one good reason to do it anyway, is that you can’t quantify the results based on what diseases or injuries you would have prevented. A recent study in Health Affairs, which is the leading journal for health care theory and practice, said care coordination and management initiatives have not been drivers of savings in Medicare, and an earlier study shows that even if 90% of consumers utilized preventive services (much higher than the current takeup rate) the total effect on health care spending would be just under 0.2% — a lot of money overall, but not much money as part of the system. Cynics also point out that if we let people live longer, they will consume more health care services. This is, of course, a good societal thing, but if you want to look purely at how to save money and how to improve care, there is always contention with the “law of unintended consequences’ Overall, the argument should be about improving quality and not saving costs. Oh, well.
Will wellness make you sick? Well, no, but it won’t cure you either, say studies
April 20, 2018
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