Preventive care and early disease detection can decrease health care costs for your business, yet research shows that Americans use preventive care services at about half the suggested rate.
So, how do you encourage your employees to take advantage of fully covered screenings and preventive care benefits?
First, understand the three types of preventive care:
- Primary prevention: These are actions aimed at preventing your employees from getting a disease or developing a chronic condition.
- Secondary prevention: This deals with early detection that improves the chance for positive health outcomes.
- Tertiary prevention: This is trying to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms of disease, cancer or chronic conditions already in place.
Next, encourage prevention:
Within your organization you have the ability to remind your employees about preventive care services they can receive through their health care plans. Here are some steps you can take:
- Offer well-being programs that promote or even give an incentive for completing preventive care.
- Clearly communicate preventive care benefits to employees.
- Encourage employees to review their medical records.
- Offer flex time for employees to use for annual exams or preventive care.
- Gather and post stories of employees who have benefited from preventive care by finding heart blockages, high cholesterol, or other issues.
Make it personal for your employees:
Talking to employees in a way that illustrates why it’s important for them to receive preventive care is key to shifting behavior. Instead of focusing on health care costs, point to Healthy People recommendations (published by PublicHealth.org) that show:
- Routine cardiovascular exams save tens of thousands of adult lives annually. Particularly crucial for middle-aged and elderly patients, routine tests and exams check for chronic diseases and infections such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Vaccines save the lives of roughly 42,000 children every year. Primarily given to children and young adults, vaccines boost the immune system and induce antigenic medication to prevent diseases like influenza, tetanus and measles.
- Preventive health screenings have been found to significantly increase life expectancy. In addition to visiting a physician when an illness or injury occurs, annual or bi-annual check-ups allow your doctor to monitor your diagnostic readings (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) and, if necessary, prescribe medication and/or treatment to bring these readings up to healthy levels.
When your employees understand why preventive care is beneficial for them, they’ll be more likely to access it.