According to CDC estimates cancer care costs around $171 billion each year, and this is only going up thanks to cost inflation. There will be an estimated total of 1.7 million cancer diagnoses this year, and over 600,000 of those diagnosed will die. Offering cancer screenings to high-risk employees such as smokers and men over a certain age can help keep costs down by catching it early and maximizing treatment effectiveness.
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the country and it costs roughly $176 billion to treat each year. That's almost 20% of the total health care spending in the US. Managing diabetes is a lifelong battle for many patients, and that also comes with a lifetime of expenses. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle with workplace wellness programs is one way to help prevent at-risk employees from developing type 2 diabetes, but type 1 diabetes is unpreventable as the person’s immune system attacks the pancreas and it will no longer produce insulin on its own. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may be able to control it with a healthy diet and exercise, but those with type 1 diabetes will require medical care for the rest of their lives.
3. Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a particularly nasty illness. In recent years it has become much more manageable, but the cost of treatment only goes up as the disease progresses. It's estimated that more than 1 in 7 US adults are currently dealing with kidney disease.
What Can Be Done About This?
When it comes to reigning in health care costs, information is your most valuable asset. You need to know the conditions that are responsible for the bulk of your health care spending. Once you know that it's just a matter of finding areas of potential savings. This is easier said than done, which is why many businesses choose a benefits consultant with experience in cost containment.
When it comes to these high-cost illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease, many employers are not doing as much as they could to bring down costs. For example, do you know whether your health insurance plan allows for at-home injections? In many cases, employees are required to receive injections at a licensed medical facility. This is not only a waste of money — in many cases, there's no pressing medical reason for this requirement — but it's also an inconvenience for employees.
Another way to cut costs when dealing with expensive, chronic conditions is step therapy. Step therapy is the process of starting with the most cost-effective treatment methods and moving on to the more costly, experimental treatments only when absolutely necessary. This is a way of reigning in costs without necessarily sacrificing the quality of treatment.
At Summerlin-Roberts we can leverage our expertise in cost containment to provide the best health benefits at the lowest possible price. Please, contact us today for more information on providing affordable health insurance for your employees.