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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Personal Accountability, Healthy Behaviors Vital to Economic Sustainability of Healthcare System

Click to hear the taped broadcast.

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

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers says that the percentage of Gross Domestic Product spent on healthcare leveled off in 2010 at 17.9 percent.

This flattening of the growth curve is good news. But we must take steps to sustain that trend, keep costs down and improve health.

Personal accountability for healthy behaviors could have a significant impact on controlling the growth of health spending. Texas Health is using our experience as one of the largest employers in North Texas to help other companies develop effective programs to keep costs down by improving the health-related behaviors of their employees.

Over the past 10 years, we have seen significant results from our “BeHealthy” program that incentivizes employees to be accountable for adopting healthier habits.

For example, our medical and prescription drug costs per employee are 18.6 percent lower than the national average. Over the last six years, the percentage of employees in the high-risk category has decreased from 11 percent to 6.5 percent. The low-risk category has increased from 67 percent to almost 75 percent.

Such employer-sponsored programs can have a huge impact on health. Our mission to improve the health of our communities begins with our own employees.

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

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