Dr. Dunaief works with academic centers, health care providers, corporations and their employees to improve health outcomes as well as contain and ultimately reduce ever-increasing health care costs. He has substantial experience with interactive workshops, presentations and focus groups.
As we know, annual health care costs are increasing significantly more than inflation year over year. This provides significant motivation for employers to offer wellness programs that prevent and treat chronic diseases. This investment has a high benefit to risk ratio, allowing the company to save money and the employees to improve their lifestyle choices.
According to United Health, one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S., there is a positive return on investment (ROI) with health incentives in preventing and treating chronic diseases. To demonstrate how important it is to educate employees, 87.5% of health care claims by employees are due to an individual’s lifestyle choices.
For example, type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease with tremendous costs in terms of both lost productivity and medical care. Diabetics have an average of 8.3 sick days a year, versus 1.7 days annually for non-diabetics, and a study on the economics of health care concluded that type 2 diabetics spend 240% more than patients without the disease. The irony is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and/or treated with appropriate education and motivation.
But there is another component, which is an improvement in quality of life. In a three year study, cost savings resulted from a decreased number of visits to a physician on an annual basis and improvements in quality of life, including both physical and mental aspects. This randomized clinical trial was published in the prestigious medical journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, in 2010.
1. Source: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Study, 2006.
2. Center for Disease Control Website. www.CDC.gov/diabetes/pubs/factsheets/atwork/htm.American Diabetes Association, Inc.
3. Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2002. Diabetes Care. 2003; 26:917-932.