Cost Control – Is it Even Possible in Healthcare?

Consider the phrase from the well-known Serenity Prayer seeking acceptance for the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.  That’s not always simple, and in the case of healthcare, so many elements related to rising costs are completely beyond individual control.

But there are some things everyone, including you and your employees, can do to reduce the impact of healthcare on your own household budget. Some are simple; others require more of a commitment to change-but all are completely doable.

  1. Go Generic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that based on the average national retail price of drugs, patients who use generics instead of branded drugs can see savings of 14-16 percent per day, depending on their medical needs. Patients whose needs can be fully satisfied with generics could enjoy reductions of 52 percent in the daily costs of their medications.
  1. Lose Weight. The Mayo Clinic quotes studies which show each one-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) in an overweight or obese adult adds an additional $119.70 in medical costs annually and $82.60 in drug costs.
  1. Get Moving. Just one day makes a difference.  In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports that medical care charges for employees with no days of physical activity are approximately 4.7 percent higher than are charges for those who are active only once a week.
  1. Snuff out the Cigarettes: Another statistic noted by the Mayo Clinic shows medical charges are 18.1 percent higher for smokers. Making things worse, employers lose $4,430 per smoker each year due to lost productivity and missed hours of work.  This compares to $2,623 lost for similar issues per non-smoker.

It’s likely both you and your employees already know all that.  But based on the payback, it sure bears repeating!