Making healthcare more affordable through prevention and wellness
Is this really free?
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010, approximately 137 million people have received no-cost coverage for preventative care services, despite the fact that awareness of the incentive is low. As of 2015, only 43% of the population “were aware” that the ACA eliminated out-of-pocket expenses for preventative care.
Why invest in preventative care?
The Trust for America’s Health estimates that an investment of $10 per person per year in community-based prevention and wellness programs could yield more than $16 billion in medical cost savings annually within 5 years. Think of all the time and money wasted on tests or appointments patients wouldn’t need if they were even slightly healthier.
Emphasizing preventative care and wellness can also help with brand reputation because patients could see you as someone who cares about their wellbeing, not just a corporation that wants to get as much money out of them as possible. Then when they are sick, they’ll feel comfortable coming to you for help.
What to promote
Preventative care can be implemented at every stage of life to help people stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, keep diseases from becoming worse or debilitating, and reduce costs. Preventative services that are free or low cost include:
- cancer screenings
- mental health screenings
- diet and obesity screenings
- routine immunizations
- women’s health services including mammograms
How to promote
Letting your patients know frequently what services are free or low cost could make a huge difference in their lives. Promoting general wellness can also help remind people of small things they can do everyday to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases.
Some ways prevention could be emphasized are: blogs, videos, and social media posts about different wellness topics, sponsoring wellness programs and events, and by encouraging physicians to refer patients to weight loss or wellness programs, which can often be covered by insurance.
How does this help hospitals?
Combining free or low cost preventative screenings with daily healthy habits will lead to a decreased chance of diseases and overall higher quality of life, and will save both the patient and your health system thousands of dollars in the process. Promoting prevention will increase goodwill in the community, increasing brand reputation, and ultimately bring in more long-term patients who will continue to come to you throughout their lives.
To learn more, check out our ebook 5 ways to make healthcare more affordable.