1:23pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Wellness Programs Appeal as Business Investments

Businesses should like these numbers a lot: Invest $1, get $3 back. That's the latest math on the return on employee wellness programs and experts are saying that may just be the start for the financial returns they can expect from targeted prevention efforts. Mark Green of The Lane Report writes that no less of an expert than Dr. William Frist of Nashville -- doctor, policy specialist, former U.S. Senate majority leader and venture capitalist -- has said: “No question in my mind, if we are to invest a dollar to have the greatest value in terms of outcome and results, we should put that dollar in prevention and wellness."

Frist, reports Green, "is a strong advocate of wellness -- as a business practice to adopt and a business sector to be in. Individual doctors, hospitals and the entire healthcare industry need to get involved, he said." Frist broke down for Green what factors most determine how long someone lives: “The numbers break down 30 percent genetic, 5 percent environmental, 15 percent socioeconomic, which is surprising to a lot of people, and then 40 percent behavioral: wellness, prevention. And then what is left (10 percent) is who your doctor is, what hospital you go to, what your emergency room is.” Those numbers  are important to Frist because to impact longevity healthcare spending over time, he said, resources should be on the 40-percent sector: behavior, wellness and prevention. Think smoking programs, weight loss, exercise, nutrition, seatbelt use. (Read more)