Four Ways Preventive Medicine Can Cut Your Health Costs
According to a 2009 Harvard study, 62% of all bankruptcy was a direct result of medical debt.
According to a 2009 Harvard study, 62% of all bankruptcy was a direct result of medical debt.1 Even those with insurance can be impacted by the astronomical cost of hospitalization, doctor visits and prescription medications. Taking preventive care measures is key to living a healthy, debt-free life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: “Preventing disease is key to improving America’s health and keeping rising health costs under control. When we invest in prevention, the benefits are broadly shared.”2
The body sends us signals when something is out of balance. The problem is that many of us will ignore it or delay getting treatment. We say, “I’ll lose weight someday” or “I’m sure that chest pain will go away soon.” In the past month I have had a close relative experience a heart attack. He had been having chest pains the week prior to his myocardial infarction, but did not seek help. A week later he was admitted to the hospital.
We can take preventive measures to ensure we are at a healthy weight, exercising, avoiding smoking and other lifestyle behavior changes. Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and health care costs in the United States.
It is estimated that obesity costs $147 billion to $210 billion annually.3 It is no secret that we need to start focusing on prevention to minimize health care costs, reduce morbidity and mortality and improve overall health.
Here are 4 easy ways preventive medicine can help your health and your wallet.
1. Perform an honest inventory on your health. Look at nutrition, activity, stress, mental, and social health.
Health is wealth and when we are not healthy, other areas of our lives suffer. Nutrition is a large portion of your health as it provides nutrients to sustain your energy throughout the day and also impacts your overall mood. Eating more whole foods and minimizing processed food is a good place to start to gain control of your health.
2. Seek out chiropractic care. There are so many researched benefits of chiropractic care. The spine and nervous system impacts various functions in our body, including breathing, allergies and other conditions.
Over a 7-year period, the patients of chiropractic care experienced:4
- 60.2% fewer hospital admissions
- 59% fewer days hospitalized
- 62% fewer outpatient surgeries
- 85% fewer pharmaceutical costs
3. Reduce stress! It has been estimated that up to 90% of doctor visits are due to stress.5
Discover what works best for you and your lifestyle. Exercising, utilizing essential oils like lavender, meditation and other mind-body exercises can help mitigate the impacts of stress. Finding outlets that can calm the stress response will improve your health immensely.
4. Listen to your body. Through my nutrition consulting programs, I encourage my clients to start to tune into what their body needs. So often we are rushing through the day and don’t pay attention to what our body is communicating to us. Do you need more water or more sleep? Start to tune into your body a few times a day and ask yourself, “What do I need today?” That may change each day, but the more awareness you bring to your body, the earlier you can catch the signs of something gone awry.
By following these simple steps you can put yourself on a trajectory of health to feel better and reduce future healthcare costs!
1. “Medical bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: results of a national study.” Am J Med. 2009 Aug; 122(8) 741-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501347
1. “Preventive Healthcare." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/PreventiveHealth.html
3. “The Healthcare Costs of Obesity.” The State of Obesity. https://stateofobesity.org/healthcare-costs-obesity/
4. Sarnat, Richard et al. "Clinical Utilization and Cost Outcomes From an Integrative Medicine Independent Physician Association: An Additional 3-Year Update." J Manipulative Physiologic Therapeut. 2007; 30(4): 263—9. http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(07)00076-0/fulltext
5. “The effects of stress on your body. WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/effects-of-stress-on-your-body
6. Axe, Josh. “Preventative Medicine: 5 Ways to Practice to Cut Health Care Costs.” https://draxe.com/preventative-medicine-cut-health-care-costs/.