Essay on Wellness Incentives and the High Cost of Healthcare

Essay on Wellness Incentives and the High Cost of Healthcare

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Healthcare and wellness are important to every American, business and to our federal government’s bottom line. Sharon (2010) stated, “Staying healthy reduces the demand for health care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, medical care for persons with chronic disease accounts for 75% of the dollars spent as a nation on medical care. Today’s most serious and expensive health problems are caused, in large part, by poor lifestyle choices: tobacco use, diets high in fat and sugar, inadequate physical activity, and drug and alcohol use.”
While the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) does currently provide funding to North Carolina and 24 other states to address the growing obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases, a broader look at wellness, defined by Henderson as “a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual’s potential,” would be beneficial to reducing the tremendous strain the cost of healthcare puts on the United States budget. North Carolina’s Secretary of the Division of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Kathleen Sebelius, stated at the Commonwealth Fund’s 12th Annual Symposium on Health Care Policy, “When we talk about health care, we always keep in mind that we are not just talking about saving money or increasing efficiency. We are also talking about providing a higher quality of life. When people are healthy, they miss fewer days of work and get more done. They spend more time at home and less time in doctors’ offices. They can take care of their grandkids. They can play softball...They can get a good night of sleep. ” Thinking of healt...


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Bowden, D. (2010). Do Wellness Programs Really Work?. Benefits & Compensation Digest,
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Gathright, F. (2009, May 11). Incentives and Wellness Program Participation Rates [Corporate
Wellness Insights]. Retrieved from http://www.corporatewellnessinsights.com/2009/05/
incentives-and-wellness-program.html

Center for Disease Control (2011, March 3). The Burden of Obesity in North Carolina.
Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/fundedstates/
north_carolina.html

Altman, D. (2011, September 7). Pulling it Together: Rising Health Costs are Not Just a Federal
Budget Problem. Kaiser Family Foundation

Van Sciver, Mark. (2011, November 9). N.C. Heart Attack Rates Down Since Passage of
Smoke-Free Law. Retreived from http://www.ncdhhs.gov/pressrel/2011/2011-11-
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