How the Cleveland Clinic cut its employee healthcare costs

No smoking. Low-fat, low-sugar food.  Free fitness and strees manangment classes. and penalties and rewards for using them.  That’s how the Clevelnad Clinic has slowed then stopped the growth of healthcare costs for its employees.

“Workers have lost a collective 250,000 pounds since 2005. Their blood pressure is lower than it was three years ago. Smoking has declined from 15.4 percent of employees to 6.8 percent.”

The last pieces of the puzzle is enforcement. “The clinic tracks its employees’ blood pressure, lipids, blood sugar, weight and smoking habits. If any of these are what the clinic calls ‘abnormal,’ a doctor must certify that the employee is taking steps to get them under control. Otherwise, no insurance rebate. The idea is to force employees to have regular conversations with their doctors about wellness. If they participate, they can lock in the rates they were paying two years ago. The savings amount to many thousands of dollars.”

To read the whole article by Ezra Klein at Bloomberg, click here.

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