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How To Start A Dialogue About Health Consumerism

How To Start A Dialogue About Health Consumerism

Posted: July 11, 2016

A school district in Wisconsin is facing harsh realities due to healthcare costs. They either have to raise family deductibles to $11,000, or close a school, or put their heads together and figure out something smarter.

When everyday folk hear about school closings or $11,000 deductibles, you get their attention. They're listening.

But you don't have to wait for severe costs or layoffs to force you to do something smarter with your health plan. You may be fine now, but let me be clear: a huge problem with costs is coming in the next few years if we don't do something now.


Affect change by being a role model
Start by gathering your employees. Get their attention by telling a story. Share the one about the broken leg or rushing to the ER. Talk about those costs and how hard it was to read the benefit statements.

Tell 'em how you're starting an employee group to walk at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week because it improves your health - and because you realize how your wellbeing affects the costs of their care. Talk about the power of participation and how by taking responsibility as individuals - and as a group - your collective behavior changes can drive down costs.

Start talking costs
Share the chart in this blog. Ask why a 30-minute MRI costs $900 here but $3,000+ over there? Ask what they would do if they knew the cost of services? Would they make different choices?

Tell 'em how Dr. B says price is sometimes just more cost and isn't necessarily a reflection of extra quality, and how the $900 MRI is probably no different than the $3,000 MRI. Ask 'em if they'd like to have more conversations like this. Should you have someone stop by to explain in plain English things like utilization?

Why start now?
Healthcare consumerism needs time to work and there's no time like now to initiate the water cooler conversations via email, newsletter, or monthly meetings on “health matters.” Just don't wait for crisis mode. Be a role model and a life changer-now!

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