Sustainable Health Care A New Kind of Medicine - Keeping You Out of the Hospital
What if you made your weekly trip to the grocery store, list in-hand (or on your app). You went aisle-by-aisle, carefully picking up the things you needed for your family. Some things were planned, some unexpected buys. You push your cart up to the check-out counter, and put your items on the belt. It totals $100. You hand the cashier a twenty dollar bill, tell her that’s your co-pay and you’ll send half of the remainder after 90 days.
This is the current scenerio facing health care today - finding a way to manage the increasing costs while remaining financially sound and still giving patients what they need.
But, what if we could cut the "grocery bill" in half by preventing disease from ever happening? We can.
Akron General has been using wellness as medicine for two decades through Akron General LifeStyles - a medically based program that focuses on prevention by maintaining a lifestyle centered around wellness and healthy habits.
"We're not a gym. We're not a club. We're an actual department of Akron General Medical Center. We offer a different medicine - utilizing physical activity, chronic disease management and health education to keep people out of the hospital," explains Doug Ribley, vice president of Akron General Health & Wellness.
In Ribley's 20 years of service at Akron General, and through the vision of Thomas "Tim" Stover, MD, he's overseen the development of a wellness model that drives change in biometric measures and incorporates medical oversight right on the fitness floor. Rehabilitation for cardiac and physical therapy patients is done side-by-side with members who are exercising to stay well and those who may have graduated from rehabilitation.
Dr. Stover, in a public address, describes how wellness impacts longevity. He shares how author Dan Buettner and National Geographic photographers documented people who lived to age 100 and beyond and what they did to make it there.
"They found that wellness is not just about exercise. It's about a way of life. It’s about a sociologic piece; it's about a psychological piece; it’s about a nutritional piece and also includes exercise. But other people around the country are starting to say thank you after 16 years what we’re talking about, and in response to that, we developed a concept called Integrated Wellness Partners with our partner from Signet in order to take this concept outside the city limits of Akron to sell this to other healthcare systems, universities, municipalities, because people are finally starting to realize we can't afford the sick care model any longer."