September 27, 2011
Benjamin Franklin often said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
It’s true isn’t it?
We can all think of examples…in day to day life, in sports, in business. If you want a different result, you must change SOMETHING.
Well, let’s turn to health care costs. Whether you are individual paying your own way, you are on Medicare, or you are an employer trying to provide health benefits to employees, you have been faced with the reality that health care costs have doubled in the last decade.
And unless WE do something different, they will double again in the next decade. It really is that simple.
And now, just published research by the Kaiser Family Foundation confirms that in fact health costs are rising faster than anticipated. I don’t think they are rising faster than EVERYONE anticipated…simply because things really have NOT changed.
Big insurers still provide similar health insurance for individuals and employers that has not really changed. Consumer driven models that engage individuals in the cost of their health care are out there, but are NOT really used as much as they can be. Consumers are still insulated from the actual flow of real health costs by traditional premium based and deductible based health plans.
Without major changes in health care is delivery and payments in our country, how could we expect anything different from what latest Kaiser research showed?
Consumers and employers often still don’t engage in health improvement programs that incorporate accountability AND appeal to intrinsic motivation so that individuals get going on health changes that they can and are ready to turn into new habits.
It is fall, benefits renewal time for many companies. It is time for employers to:
1) Look at different options that engage employees to be accountable consumers of health care
2) Take control of group health data instead of being slave to reports coming from the health insurance company…who reap the benefits of increasing premiums.
3) Engage employees in a cultural change…entice and engage them step by step in new healthier habits that they are ready to take.
If we all keep doing what we have been doing, we will keep getting what we have been getting.
Let’s get our heads out of the sand and help America get healthier, company by company, employee by employee.
Here is a good summary in the New York Times of the Kaiser Family Foundation Research:
If you want to see the data on Kaiser’s site directly, here is that link:
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