Health Behaviors, such as diet, negative behaviors, fitness levels, have the potential to affect health status by approximately 50% – making them a major influence on the health status of the individual.
In the past, healthcare spending has focused 75% of its spending on access to care and minimized the other three areas of influence on health status: Environment, Genetics, Health Behaviors. As a factor that influences health status, access to care affects it by only 10%.
Addressing Health Behaviors and allocating funds in this area, instead of Access to Care, may increase the potential for healthcare savings.
Cadmus, a publishing-services company, says its overall health-care costs grew only $500,000 last year, after rising by $2 million in each of the preceding four years, an improvement it attributes in part to its nearly two-year old wellness program. As a result of mandatory screenings, 140 employees went on medication to control high blood pressure, and 150 employees went on cholesterol medication. Hospital stays fell sharply.
Supermarket chain Safeway Inc. and mortgage giant Freddie Mac, also say they have saved money through efforts to keep their workers healthier.
*Source: McQueen, M.P, The Road to Wellness Is Starting at the Office: Employers’ Efforts to Push Preventive Care Begin to Show Both Health and Cost Benefits; Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5, 2006
Major concerns for employers
Challenges of providing healthcare benefits are one of the biggest sources of frustration for employers today. Cost benefits alone are increasing at a rate of 6.9% annually, twice the rate of inflation. For General Motors, $1,500 of each car is attributed to employee healthcare benefits.
Much of the current expense of healthcare is due to treating illnesses that are preventable. Previously, there was no end in sight to this expense. But today, cost-conscious employers are quickly moving to establish programs that assist employees in leading healthier, more productive lifestyles.
Benefits of wellness
Scientists today have documented MANY benefits of wellness programs. Specific well-known benefits cited in a 20 year study from the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center include:
- Mutual of Omaha’s program of lifestyle modification for coronary heart disease (instead of surgery or drugs) not only caused reversal of the disease in 82% of the patients, but cost $3,500 per participant vs. $43,000 for bypass surgery or $18,000 for coronary angioplasty. A cost savings ranging from 80% to 92%.
- Fitness, lifestyle modification and disease screening programs for Mesa, Arizona employees reduced total medical costs by $87 per employee.
In 1996, Akron General became a visionary leader in the national wellness arena. With the opening of the Health & Wellness Center-West in West Akron, Akron General carved out a solid reputation in wellness. Over the past decade, thousands of Summit County residents sampled the services available through the center and today, nearly 11,000 members of the local community are active members of LifeStyles—the medical fitness program.
LifeStyles has won the Nova 7 Award – the gold standard of the industry – three times. It is ranked the #1 hospital-owned medical fitness center in the country for the last eight years by the Medical Fitness Association and Club Industry Magazine.
In 2007, Akron General opened a new Health & Wellness Center-North in Stow, Ohio. This fabulous new center offers the same high quality wellness services and is widely acclaimed.
Akron General Health & Wellness offers three main categories of wellness services:
Our expertise and long-running experience in the management of fitness centers allows us to consult with you for planning, development and management of a fitness center at your location. Our menu of services can provide you with exactly the level of assistance that you prefer.
Through our three existing northeast Ohio locations, Akron General is able to offer corporate memberships. These entitle your employees to all of the benefits of LifeStyles membership.
Worksite wellness services
Our team of experts is able to provide a complete menu of health and wellness options at your locations. Services include:
- Health risk appraisals
- Interactive health lectures and demonstrations
- Health Fairs
- Nutrition consultations
- Smoking cessation
- Nutrition & Fitness Club
|Akron General Health & Wellness Center – West
4125 Medina Road, Akron, OH 44333
||Akron General Health & Wellness Center – North
4300 Allen Road, Stow, OH 44224
||Portage Lakes Fitness Center|
3089 Manchester Road
Akron, Ohio 44319
For More Information
Please contact us at 330.665.8095