Company Assesses Health Risks

Identifying employee healthcare concerns before they become issues is one way to help lower costs. That’s the premise behind an Illinois company, as Ed Mayberry explains.

Through a prevention program, companies like Interactive Health Solutions have been helping employees take an active role in controlling costs while they are at the “no risk” stage. IHS President Joseph O’Brien discusses.

“Most employees, believe it or not, haven’t probably seen a doctor in over five years. In fact, 63 percent of the people we screen haven’t seen a doctor in over five years. Yet, 58 percent of the people we do screen are walking around with a undiagnosed or untreated chronic disease. But they don’t really make us hurt or feel any different. They’re subtle, and we rationalize them away, and we wait until kind of an event occurs that creates us to go to a hospital or emergency room.”

Interactive Health Solutions starts by coming to the work site.

“Ask them to fill out their medical history. We draw a vial of blood and we also do their blood pressure. Based on those three pieces of information, we could give them back information about how their body’s doing. Over 36 different blood tests are performed. So they’ll be able to understand everything that’s going on in their body, from kidney to liver to cardiac. So we really do help them to get control or to get educated about their health, and that’s really the first step is have the facts so that you know what you’re doing. And we do it year-over-year so people begin to monitor and be able to watch or trend how they’re doing. We actually schedule an employee for a time during a day we’re going to be out there, and we set up in a conference room or anywhere an employee has an area that we can work in. And depending on how many employees they have, we have that many phlebotomists or medical team out there to make sure it’s a smooth organized fashion.”

O’Brien says companies are achieving an average savings per employee of $2,850 through health evaluations and incentives rewarding progress and healthier lifestyles.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.