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New Jersey Leaders Detail Savings for Health Reform
Date:7/1/2009

that policy focus should be given to healthy behavior and preventive care activities that improve quality of life and lower health insurance costs. We encourage employers to implement wellness programs. Getting national health care reform to recognize those efforts would be an important step in the right direction."

"In these tough economic times, the business community knows full well the value of keeping its employees healthy and on the job," said Philip Kirschner, President of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA). "We all know the costs of chronic diseases are high - accounting for as much as three out of every four dollars spent on health care in this country. It only makes sense that we would focus our cost-saving initiatives on the area where the most money is spent. In the business world, we call that going after the greatest 'Return on Investment.'"

Some of those programs were outlined by William Lacy, President and Treasurer of the Association for Corporate Wellness. "Corporate Wellness programs work," he said. "They get people healthier. Wellness and prevention are effective solutions for reducing health care costs, avoiding future unexpected risk related expenses, and to a greater extent boosting productivity. This translates into an ROI even the most conservative CFO can get excited about."

Mr. Knowlton explained, "Right now the incentive schemes and reimbursement mechanisms for health insurance are backwards for patients and providers alike. Patients are often fully reimbursed for treatment of acute manifestation of illness but they are forced to pay out of pocket for counseling on lifestyle modifications and medications that can prevent such problems. Doctors are reimbursed for providing a treatment, but not for simple counseling about how to prevent a condition from developing or worsening. Reform should transform that backwards system and Congress should take the credit for the
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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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