by Hal Stansbury, director of business development

There have been many innovations in medicine in recent years, aimed to help people improve their health, get better access to care and ultimately live longer. While we should continue trusting doctors to counsel and treat us, patients should be in control of their care. Likewise, employers should encourage their staff to take advantage of the benefits offered to them.

Being in control of our wellness will help us stay healthy, lower our health care bills and continue to lead productive lives. Employees can follow these simple steps that will help improve their health and simultaneously lower your company’s health insurance premium.

Get your annual checkups

Preventive care is covered by most health insurance programs, with little or no copays. This includes physicals, blood tests and pap smears. Insurance programs cover other screening services for older patients such as colonoscopies and mammograms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of deaths each year are due to a chronic illness. Imagine what that number could look like if we all took advantage of preventive services! Not only will preventive care keep your staff up to date on their wellness, doctors may detect something irregular in its early stages, allowing them to treat patients more effectively before it potentially gets worse, and costly.

Visit an urgent care facility

With the rising cost of emergency room visits, inform your staff of neighborhood urgent care centers. For those who need medical attention but it’s not an emergency, urgent care clinics normally offer the remedies patients need. Urgent care staff can quickly address minor ailments like strep throat or a UTI, and patients don’t have to wait for hours like they potentially could at a hospital emergency room.

Speak to a telehealth professional

Technology has also evolved the way we engage with health care providers. Busy Americans today access telehealth services through their computers or mobile devices. Originally used for traditional diagnostic and monitoring activities, telehealth can be used for a wide range of services, including dentistry, counseling, physical and occupational therapy, chronic disease monitoring and disease management. New methods of virtual medical care mean less trips and copays to the doctor’s office, better productivity in the office and more valuable time spent with family.

Keep track of your health online

There are several digital platforms today that streamline employee health records. Whether through your health insurance provider or a third-party app, enroll them online. They’ll be able to see their health records at first glance, receive reminders to book annual screenings, and track their health and improvement. Also, having everything organized in one program will be less overwhelming for you during open enrollment periods or when a new employee comes on board.

As we enter 2018, we all should make the New Year’s resolution to be more in control of our health. A healthy workplace leads to a successful company, so don’t get behind the curve. If all employees took advantage of annual preventive screenings, nearby urgent care clinics, telehealth services and digital apps, companies would have a more productive workforce, lower health insurance premiums and an overall enhanced working environment.

If you want to explore health insurance plans or go digital with your company’s health care, please contact Hal at 901-365-3447 or hal [at] gobarnett [dot] com for a free demo with your team.

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