Why Entrepreneurs Should Demand Extra From Healthcare
The main reason is as blunt as it is true: employees who can’t work are expensive.
March 7, 2021 4 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
As part of the economy, America spends almost twice as much on health care as any other country, but that is not reflected in our well-being.
We have a relatively low life expectancy, a high rate of suicide, a high rate of preventable death, and an overload of chronic diseases and disabilities in comparable countries. This information deserves to be well known to patients, providers, insurers, regulators, and lawmakers.
Polls show it’s an obvious concern at home.
A recent study of 2,000 Americans commissioned by Fresh Avocados – Love One Today found that three in five Americans (59%) fear that their loved ones are not taking care of their general health. The most common categories that respondents are concerned about are spouses (45%), mothers (43%), and fathers (42%).
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Why entrepreneurs should care
The reason? Employees who cannot work are expensive.
Each work accident costs employers an average of $ 1,000. If medical advice is needed, that number rises to $ 41,000. The total cost of accidents at work in 2018 was estimated at $ 170.8 billion. This includes lost wages, lost productivity, medical expenses and administrative costs. Address non-work-related injuries and common illnesses and you will have billions more economic consequences.
These expenses not only harm individual companies, but also increase the cost of supplies in all supply chains and create a ripple effect in the larger economy. The resulting billions in losses are more than just astonishing numbers. They are an indicator of how much business owners need to win from opposing bad healthcare decisions and laws.
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In particular, let’s look at back pain as it is the number one cause of lost productivity and work-related disabilities. It is also the cause of more than 500,000 employee compensation claims annually and is more likely than any other condition that an employee will remain unemployed for an extended period of time. And out of ten people who experience work restrictions, six relate to back pain. Learning simple facts like this is the first step in making change.
The second step is to question the data surrounding these facts. For example, why is the cause of back pain only identified 1 in 10 cases, and why does only 10% of general practitioners refer patients with back pain to a chiropractor or physiotherapist?
According to the American Medical Association, despite more treatment options, why is there no evidence that back pain is becoming less of a burden of disease?
An important market force
We’ve covered the “back” part (pun intended), and the third step is where the push really comes into play. Almost half of all Americans receive employer-sponsored health insurance, which means that these employers represent a major market power when it comes to insurers and providers. For this reason, business owners should urge insurers to offer affordable coverage to top-notch providers, which in turn leads to these providers demonstrating that they can provide better standards of care.
Now you could argue that it is the employer’s responsibility to look after the health of workers, and that’s a fair point too. However, there is a limit to how much employers can do to provide safe jobs, and they certainly cannot control what happens to workers who are not on the job. However, it shouldn’t be difficult to expect that in America today, anyone suffering from an injury will receive quick, adequate, and inexpensive care.
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