This week on Talking Pop Health, host Eric Tower speaks with Dr. Sadhna Paralkar, Senior Vice President and National Medical Director at Segal, for a conversation surrounding how organizations can help guide their employees to maintain a healthier lifestyle, which will, in turn, keep health care costs low for both parties.
With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Paralkar specializes in on-site clinics, wellness programs, medical management program design, health care informatics, network management strategies to optimize health improvement while containing costs, and evaluation and implementation of disease management and wellness programs.
Some highlights from their conversation:
On the behaviors that consume nearly 80% of health care dollars:
“About 80% of your people are healthy but the remaining 20% is usually what consumes 80% of the health dollars Of that 80%, there are 8 behaviors that commonly lead to chronic conditions: poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, stress, lack of health screening, alcohol consumption, poor care compliance or adherence to drugs and inefficient sleep.”
On the health “buckets” that employees fall into:
“The at-risk ‘bucket’ is made up of individuals getting healthier or those living with an illness that’s manageable. This group needs to have health education – which is where most wellness efforts come in. For the remaining healthy population, it is all about trying to maintain their health and prevent them from moving into the at-risk ‘bucket’ – where most health care dollars are depleted.”
On employee health data, or lack thereof:
“No matter what the data suggests, it’s still a best practice to educate your employees on nutrition, the dangers of smoking and encourage them to become physically active. It will teach them how to engage in preventative care. All of those things you can even do without having any data. Although, the data is important when determining if what you’re doing is actually yielding results.”