|By Judith McGinnis, Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Wellness, facilitated by insurers and promoted by employers is the best way to keep health care costs under control for everyone.
Sponsored by the
"Healthcare is driven by thee things: Cost,
The insurance expert pointed out that while PPACA has surpassed its primary goal, registering 1.5 percent of all Americans through the program, 31 million are still uninsured.
"And health care is still expensive, " said Bishop, who detailed costs to federal benefit programs, employers and employees.
The group heard about the cost difference hospital to hospital for the same medical procedures. Major joint replacement (hips, knees) at
"Ultimately when we get this right, the price of procedures like this will be linked to what
Bishop is also board president of ACAP (Accountable Care, Accountable Patients) Health which seeks ways to deliver measurable results and lower health care costs.
He explained the only way to use fewer insurance dollars, reduce the price of care and transfer more responsibility for the cost of care to the insured is through wellness programs.
Pointing to diabetes as an example, data shows that from 1996 to 2011, cost per patient for care has increased 52 percent and the number of Americans being treated for diabetes has increased 159 percent.
Similarly the cost of treating "non-traumatic" joint pain like osteoarthritis has gone up 88 percent with an increase of 128 percent in diagnosis.
Both conditions can be dramatically affected by obesity.
"We need to produce less disease," said Bishop. "We can do better. We can change the risk but from 2007 and 2012 we've seen no increase in measures showing people how to do it."
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