For all the Boomers that remember the lyrics of Bob Dylan: “The slow one now, will later be fast, As the present now, will later be past, The order is rapidly fadin’, And the first one now will later be last, For the times they are a-changin’.”
Well, let’s look at medicine. In the past: kids get there school physicals when needed. Parents and kids went to the doctor only when something was wrong and expected the doctor to “fix it”. In many cases that fix was an antibiotic. Then everyone went back and just continued their life just as they were living before.
In today’s world this whole process is evolving. Statistics show preventative care and wellness doctor visits cut overall medical costs. Behaviors like smoking, overeating, drinking too much soda or alcohol and not being active show a vast increase in long term medical costs and even a person’s quality of life. Today, we are told to take responsibility of our health by eating healthy, getting 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week, watch our weight and BMI, quit smoking and protect our bodies are we do tasks that could result in injury.
I find it refreshing to see people going to gyms, watching their intake of calories and taking time to relax and have fun. Truly, we have much of our health in our control. We need to accept that responsibility and embrace a change or two, if needed, to help ourselves. So what are the reasons for accepting responsibility of healthy living?
The medical reason is the philosophy implementation of outcome based medicine. It is wise to have your wellness physicals. Catch health concerns early. If blood sugars are up, make a diet change. If weight becomes and issue, a diet change and exercise, if you smoke or drink too much, quit. Take medications as prescribed. Easier said than done – I know. However, the days of going to a doctor for a pill or a quick fix are changing’. By the way and in most cases Wellness exams are covered at 100% by insurance.
Now, why is all of this important? First of all, you will probably feel better physically and emotionally. Secondly, your medical care costs will overtime probably be less – far less. In addition, the medical community has been changin’ their philosophy to outcome based medicine. So, how does that affect you? Simply, if a person is in a position where they are too obese, smoke, or are non-complaint the risks of surgery may be far greater than the gain from having the surgery. Result – the surgery is put off until one can get themselves in a position where the outcome of surgery has a better chance for success. In the big picture this saves money on overall medical care. So, the money is put toward those who have been compliant to medical advice and have taking responsibility for their health. Please know: this article may seem harsh to some and I do not mean it that way, but it is our new reality. How does a country cut medical costs? The country applies its money to those who expect the best outcomes. Like it or not: “The Times They Are A-Changin’.
Today, employers, insurance companies and the medical community may have wellness programs to help people make changes to better manage their habits, bodies and health. Not only will your medical costs be cut, but you will probably feel better.