I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need an explanation to help me learn.
respond to the following discussion post like a peer with 1 reference and a 150-200 word count.
(Employer-based health care programs have recently introduced wellness incentives in an attempt to improve overall health of enrollees and arrest rising medical costs. Through this method, health care companies provide incentives in the form of discounts or reimbursements if they show proof of health. One example of wellness incentives being effective was the Lifestyle Incentives For Employees (LIFE) Plan at the Florida Hospital Zephyrhills in 2004. Chronic illness and obesity are major contributors to rising health care costs. The LIFE plan provided employees with cash rewards if they could prove they were exercising regularly, losing weight, and abstaining from tobacco products. Every six months, participants were given $75 for not using tobacco, $50 for exercising 3x/week, and $250 for maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). Researchers found that those who participated in the LIFE program had less health care costs compared to employees who did not participate, thus costing the company less money (Perrin et al., 2008).
In my opinion any encouragement and support for preventative care is positive. With more people taking control of their health we can reduce preventable illnesses associated with things like obesity and tobacco use. This effectively lowers the burden on the health care system. I do not think cash incentives will be widely used moving forwards only because health care companies probably do not want to provide a lot of cash up front in the hopes enrollees will have fewer claims in the future. However, some companies are providing discounts to health care premiums when enrollees complete screenings that indicate they are in “good health”. While wellness incentives can be effective, they do not account for the social determinants of health. They also largely utilize BMI measures which have been criticized for only assessing weight which is not always indicative of health status.)
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