Health insurance remains a hot topic both among consumers across our country, as well as among political pundits promising better, broader coverage. Much of this debate is the result of ever escalating cost of health care delivery. Over the past 20 years, we have seen more and more direct marketing to consumers. Pharmaceutical companies, and more recently, specific surgery suppliers are marketing directly to consumers. Now patients go to their doctors telling them what medication they want to take or what brand of knee implant they want for their knee replacement. This has forced insurers to place safeguards in determining what more expensive treatments are necessary or warranted.
As a result of increasing health care costs, insurance companies are placing more and more responsibility for their member’s health on the insured. This is especially true for self insured policies, where the employer pays ALL insurance claims themself. In effort to promote health and wellness, these employers will often offer smoking cessation incentives, access to exercise facilities, cost free wellness medical visits, and weight loss counseling. A patient today presented with a pedometer attached to their shoe, as directed by the insurer. A pedometer is a device used to count the number of steps taken in a day. Over the 4 week period, the patient was required to log online, and enter the number of steps taken each day. A minimum of 4,000 steps was required daily by the insurer. If the individual took fewer than 4,000 steps in any given day, the insurer would consider this a more sedentary lifestyle, resulting in their premium increasing considerably. From the insurer perspective, the more sedentary the individual, the higher risk of health related problems. Potential health problems for the insurer=increased expense for the insurance company, or with a self insured policy, the employer. Some employers have gone as far as restricting employment to ONLY nonsmokers. In addition, each December, this particular employer holds a company wide diet for their members, directing them to eat a certain amount of fruits and/or vegetables each day; hopefully reducing their intake of holiday sweets.
A recent survey found that 72% of people do not exercise due to foot pain. If you suffer from foot pain, or feel unable to exercise as a result of foot pain, give us a call. The source in Owensboro and the TriState area for your foot pain, Dr. Block and staff at the Bluegrass Foot Center is the only foot doctor you need! Stay safe and healthy Owensboro!