Preventative healthcare keeps costs down

| 27/01/2011

(CNS): Getting individuals involved in keeping themselves healthy is a good way to keep healthcare costs down and improve the quality of healthcare, according to Dr Edward Cabrera Chief Medical Officer of KePRO, a medical expert brought to Cayman to speak at the Healthcare Thought Leaders Forum, which took place recently at The Ritz-Carlton and was organised by Ken Di Bella, CEO and President CBCA Administrators/Simplifi, healthcare management advisers to CINICO. Dr Cabrera said that introducing wellness programmes for employees which constantly reached out to them would result in changing behaviour for the good and reduce the risk of people developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension.

He pointed out that the increase in chronic diseases was a worldwide issue, with the World Health Organisation estimating that 60 per cent of deaths worldwide were attributable to chronic illness and the United States spending US$470 billion annually on chronic diseases.

Wellness programmes have proven to be effective tools in increasing healthcare quality and reducing costs, said Dr Cabrera. People in Cayman could benefit from an innovative approach to health assessments which would be age and gender appropriate and include biometric and personal healthcare screenings.

They would then have constant communications to encourage and reward them when they lost weight, undertook physical exercise etc, via a multi media approach that could include mobile phones, text, email and social networking such as Facebook and Twitter.
“We all have busy lives and we are not all disciplined so the challenge is to engage people in their own healthcare using a multi-pronged approach, because everyone communicates differently,” Dr Cabrera said.

The added benefit of such a programme would be that physicians on island would have up-to-date real time information on their patients which could be used to help treat them more effectively.

“The programmes would be interactive and customised to suit the patient,” he said. “For example, if someone was on a weight loss programme they could call in with milestone information. They could be rewarded by a text or call when they reach that milestone. It’s all about keeping them involved.” Dr Cabrera believed that everyone on Cayman could benefit from such a programme and not just those on government health plans.

Kelly Burn, Executive Healthcare Consultant, said that another way for Cayman to reduce healthcare costs was to get rid of the middle man when it came to healthcare provider networks and take on the responsibility itself. In this way Burn said that Cayman would save money, get healthcare better suited to its population, have better control over healthcare and improve the overall economy by having Caymanians employed to do the job.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Health

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.