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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Employers Can Help Fight Heart Disease

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

Heart disease and stroke claim more than 800,000 lives annually in the United States and cost American businesses more than $393 billion a year.

A recent government analysis of insurance claims for 4 million people covered by benefits plans of major U.S. employers revealed that the mean payment for employees with heart-related health claims was $4,000 – more than double the average payment for all other conditions.

Employers can play crucial role in reducing the human and financial toll of cardiovascular disease. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comprehensive worksite programs focused on changing lifestyle behaviors yield a $3 to $6 return on investment for each dollar invested.

Establish partnerships with your local heart disease and stroke prevention programs and learn from other employers what they are successfully doing to improve employee cardiovascular health and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. Work with your health plan to ensure that essential preventive benefits are covered for your employees.

And last but not least, be prepared to save a life. Consider fitting your office with Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, and providing AED and CPR training for your staff. Prompt use of an AED and CPR is proven to dramatically increase the chance of survival for people suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

For our faith-based hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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