New insurance wellness benefits offered as incentive for lifestyle changes in patients
Here’s another head’s up for international medical graduates (J1 visa and H1B holders) who may be too busy to read latest (Jan. 10, 2011) issue of Time: [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2040210,00.html] : get ready to give advice on diet and exercise as part of annual wellness visits offered to 46.6 Medicare beneficiaries.
Yes, as of January 1, Medicare recipients are encouraged to get free coaching about healthy behaviors, specific changes to their lifestyle that would reduce health care costs, since some “75% of [these] . . . costs stems from chronic diseases, many of which can be prevented by lifestyle choices.”
But the advice has to be more detailed than “stop smoking, eat less junk food and get more exercise” all common sense lifestyle choices that are guaranteed to avoid or reduce the effects of conditions like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
And so, get ready to lead a team of dietitians, exercise therapists, and related health professionals whose goal is to maximize wellness instead of minimize sickness. Can you give a prescription for “chairobic activity”? “Sit in a chair, arms at your side, then rise up and sit back down on it. Every day. Repeat as often as you can.” Such simple altered behavior in the daily life of a house-bound senior is soon to be doctor’s orders.
Why this shift? It pays. Insurance companies are willing to pay up-front to reduce costs later on. Any problems right now to implementing this plan? Yes: the average doctor has neither training or time to step into this new role as lifestyle coach and wellness director.
Anyone out there with knowledge of the benefits of a low-fat, vegetarian diet, exercise for stress reduction, flexibility, weight control? You’re wanted for your expertise, and, no doubt, your example of energy and productivity.
Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Sacramento, serving clients nationwide. You can call us at 800-753-1399 if you have any questions regarding immigration law.