Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Health Care Crisis (Part 2)

Any employers out there reading this? 

Please see previous post and consider signing up for a free RSS feed of the Seed for your employees to receive a daily post (or sign up for a daily e-mail) written by yours truly, Registered Dietitian Diane Preves, M.S., R.D., owner/developer/instructor of the 10-week N.E.W. LIFE (Nutrition, Exercise, Wellness for LIFE) programs.   

For both employers and employees—heads up . . .

While recent health care reform law (the Affordable Care Act) is an attempt to avert the health care crisis referenced in the previous blog, the outcomes of such a late-entry strategy are yet to be seen, and unsure at best.  The need for individuals and companies of all sizes to take action to prevent disease has never been more important.  In August 2012 the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of 342 large employers including 66 Fortune 100 companies and providing health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families reported that the cost of employer-provided health care benefits at large U.S. employers will increase an average of another 7% in 2013.  Employers will be asking workers to share the burden--60% of businesses in the survey plan to increase the percentage of the premium paid by employees in 2013, 40% plan to increase in-network deductibles while roughly one-third will increase out-of-network deductibles (33%) and out-of pocket maximums (32%).  The survey was based on responses from 82 of the nation's largest corporations and was conducted in June 2012 prior to the Supreme Court's announcement to uphold the health care reform law. 

But while many employers continue to adopt cost-sharing provisions, survey respondents now consider consumer-directed health plans (CDHP) and wellness initiatives to be more effective at stemming cost than shifting costs to employees.  Surveys are beginning to reveal that as the health care law begins to kick in some businesses will consider dropping health care for their employees altogether and paying the $2000 per employee fine.  While that may temporarily “solve” the financial conundrum businesses may find themselves in, that does not solve the problem.  Individuals still need to be healthy, and businesses still need healthy employees.  

Many employers also plan to increase financial rewards to workers for maintaining a healthy lifestyle or participating in a wellness program.  Employers that offer incentives report that the median amount employees can earn will jump 50% from $300 this year to $450 next year.  Whether you are an employer or an employee, I encourage you to research your choices of “wellness programs” wisely.  Many a company has considered diet programs like Weight Watchers to be used as a wellness program even though weight-loss is a poor indicator of improved health which does not often translate into disease prevention.  Instead, consider the very cost-affordable 10-week N.E.W. LIFE nutrition education/behavior modification program for proven health benefits and weight-loss.  The cost is only $20/session for a 10-week program.  The cost of not doing something to significantly improve the diet and health of your employees is most assuredly more than $200 per employee.

There have been excellent government initiatives at public education, but they have been relatively ineffective as compared to the scope of the problem.  The United States Department of Agriculture and other public health organizations have accomplished the herculean job of disseminating excellent nutrition information so that Americans are largely without excuse.  But government-funded public awareness campaigns have clearly not been enough.  While many Americans are making significant lifestyle changes, many more are not.  America’s health has continued to decline despite increased efforts and money designated to increasing public awareness.  For the most part, people are not going to “get healthy” because they realize they should, even though they understand that there are benefits to being healthy and dire consequences to staying unhealthy.  It would seem there is more needed in the approach.  Clearly the prevention efforts need to be more intensive, more personal, more helpful.  The Seed, delivered direct daily to your RSS feed reader or to individual e-mail inboxes, offers a more consistent message to heighten personal awareness. 

Although access to correct, understandable nutrition information is a necessary component of behavior change, many people need practical help with HOW to apply the information and recommendations and with the formidable process of actually making the changes in lifestyle behaviors that will last.  Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman conceded:

“. . . putting this knowledge into practice is difficult” (HHS and USDA, Dietary Guidelines, Message From the Secretaries).

Healthy People 2010 by the Dept. of Health and Human Services reported on the significant increases and epidemic costs of diabetes as a major public health challenge, concluding:

"Several factors account for this chronic disease epidemic, including behavioral elements (improper nutrition, for example, increased fat consumption; decreased physical activity; obesity). . . and the relative weakness of interventions to change individual, community, or organizational behaviors (Clark, 1998; King, et al., 1997; Center for Disease Control, 1997).

Prevention is key, and Registered Dietitians are uniquely qualified to provide “medical nutrition therapy” (the recent term adopted since Medicare coverage for Registered Dietitians) necessary for disease management and the highest quality nutrition education available in these United States!  Both employees and businesses who have access to Registered Dietitians can be better equipped to survive the “health care crisis”.

Warning: A little N.E.W. LIFE promo follows . . .

N.E.W. LIFE is a 10-week nutrition education/behavior modification program which teaches people HOW to eat according to the recommendations of the American Heart Association, National Cancer Institute, American Diabetes Association, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, National Cholesterol Education Program and optimal diet for athletes.  N.E.W. LIFE is well-known for providing excellent nutrition education based on the most up-to-date research taught by Registered Dietitians credentialed through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (recently renamed and formerly called the American Dietetic Association) and additionally certified through N.E.W. LIFE Dietitian Training Forums.

The reason N.E.W. LIFE is so highly recommended by health professionals and the public is because it works.  Knowledge alone does not result in behavior change.  N.E.W. LIFE participants are successful because of the philosophy and methodology of the N.E.W. LIFE program--individuals experience changes in desire and motivation resulting in sustained lifestyle changes.

A steadily growing number of physicians, psychotherapists, and health professionals recommend participation in a N.E.W. LIFE program to their patients.  Individuals return to their physicians year after year with the long-lasting results achieved with participation in a N.E.W. LIFE program.  Reduced cholesterol and triglycerides, weight-loss, increased energy, reduced length and severity of sickness, freedom from obsessive food behaviors, and elimination of hypoglycemic symptoms are common changes. 

N.E.W. LIFE Dietitians are certified in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, Ohio, ConnecticutNew York.  The N.E.W. LIFE program has been held at a variety of host sites including Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Hewlett-Packard, BlueCross BlueShield of Colorado, Poudre Valley Hospital (Fort Collins, Colorado), Ivinson Memorial Hospital (Laramie, Wyoming), Littleton Adventist Hospital (Littleton, Colorado), Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital (Cherokee, Iowa), Fayette County Memorial Hospital (Washington Court House, Ohio), Westchester Medical Group (White Plains, NY), numerous churches, health clubs, doctor’s offices, City of Fort Collins Human Resources, Platte River Power Authority, Rural Electric Association, Ft. Collins Women’s Clinic, Edora Pool & Ice Center, Chilson Recreation Center, University of Montana, Colorado State University, The Women’s Club (Missoula, Montana), Paul Stock Center (Cody, Wyoming), Worland Health Club (Worland, Wyoming). 

I welcome the opportunity to do informational seminars and to
consider additional host sites for the N.E.W. LIFE program.
If you would like to host a seminar or a 10-week N.E.W. LIFE program for your employees contact me at newlife@newlifeforhealth.com

Healthy regards,
Diane Preves, M.S., R.D.

Thank you for sharing this post with others who might benefit from the information shared herein. 

1 comment:

  1. New Diet Taps into Revolutionary Plan to Help Dieters LOSE 15 Pounds in Just 21 Days!


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