Employers Must Take Different Approach To Healthcare

Mark Savage, director of occupational services for IU Health, spoke to the Starke County Chamber of Commerce members Wednesday night about the rising cost of health care for the employees of the business.

Savage contended that employee healthcare costs are going to increase for employers if their workforce does not become healthier, and he said employers can anticipate a total healthcare cost increase of 6.2 percent this year over 2011.

He said the assumption that you can drive down the cost of healthcare by increasing deductibles and co-pays is outdated, and he says employers are going to have to change their ways by providing screenings and incentives for good health.

“A healthy employee shows up for work and is able to perform at his or her best,” said Savage.

He said the threats to productivity include stress, substance abuse, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, and smoking. His appearance was arranged by IU Health Starke Hospital, and hospital CEO David Hyatt was also in attendance to answer questions.