The news networks have been all over the Supreme Court decision about President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which determined that the act is constitutional if the individual mandate for health coverage is classified as a tax. After continued pundit discussion, it seems that everyone interprets the decision differently, that so many people have different opinions about the act’s effects on business, on politics, and the like. But according to a recent Harvard Business Review blog post entitled “Healthcare Reform is Good For Business” by Elizabeth Teisberg, there is a degree to which all of this discussion misses the point.
Teisberg outlines an important basic point about our healthcare system before the Affordable Care Act: “The absence of primary and preventive care leads to compounding problems, worse outcomes, and much higher expense. The Affordable Care Act recognizes that earlier universal access to care is imperative for improving health and productivity as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of health care.”
Rather than viewing the act as a drain on business, Teisberg enumerates the ways in which the act can actually save money.
Furthermore, the article is clear about the point that preventative care and wellness are the real keys to lowering healthcare costs across the board in the long term. According to Teisberg, “Rather than fight payment reform or step out of health benefits hoping someone else will fix the problems, business and health care executives should focus on initiatives that improve health in the communities they influence. Innovation can range from employee health initiatives, to new approaches and facilities for secondary prevention in chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, to new types of delivery teams, new roles, new mindsets and new measures of success.”
A truly family-friendly workplace is one which not only offers health insurance but also puts a focus on health, wellness, and work-life balance.
Create a More Healthy, Family-Friendly Workplace
1. Install a company exercise room for employee use.
2. Sponsor a series of brown bag lunches about healthy eating.
3. Encourage an employee team to train together for a 5K or other event.
4. Model healthy work-life balance.
5. Offer healthy choices in your on-site dining facilities.
6. Promote whole family health events for a truly family-friendly workplace.