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Behavior Change
Plan Could Save $303 Billion Annually in US Health Care Costs

The United States could save $217-303 billion in annual health care costs if businesses and governments adopt existing evidence-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention methods, according to a new report released by the Vitality Institute.The report, developed by the Vitality Institute Commission on Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Working-Age Americans, is the result of more than a year of research and debate among some of the country’s top public health experts. It specifically notes that improving health promotion and chronic disease prevention efforts among working-age individuals is essential to strengthening America’s economic competitiveness.

The United States could save $217-303 billion in annual health care costs if businesses and governments adopt existing evidence-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention methods, according to a new report released by the Vitality Institute.

The report, developed by the Vitality Institute Commission on Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Working-Age Americans, is the result of more than a year of research and debate among some of the country’s top public health experts. It specifically notes that improving health promotion and chronic disease prevention efforts among working-age individuals is essential to strengthening America’s economic competitiveness.

The Commission conducted a first-of-its kind comprehensive review of existing chronic disease prevention research and programs, commissioned 11 original research papers, and debated the findings in private meetings and public forums. The result is a series of recommendations for creating a culture of health that incentivizes and encourages working-age Americans to make healthy choices. Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Require corporations to integrate health metrics into their annual reporting by 2025
  • Secure commitments from more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies to include workforce health as part of their organizational strategy by 2020
  • Increase federal government funding for prevention science research by at least 10 percent by 2017 and create a federal agency to fund efforts that support health and prevention

Additionally, to guide business leaders and policy makers, the report contains nearly 50 examples of chronic disease prevention programs that have been adopted by corporations, local governments and even the US military and are successfully increasing the availability of nutritious food, leading to the development of healthy products and promoting exercise.

Some healthcare costs can be reduced by private sector innovation. In October 2013, CVS announced a partnership with health and well-being company Humana to help customers make sense of their healthcare coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And last year, CVS published research in its 2012 CSR Report that shows patients are concerned about the future of health care in the US and are increasingly turning to their pharmacists for guidance on a range of health care issues beyond simple advice on their medications.

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