Today’s lookback blog is entitled, “Less-Educated, Lower-Income Employee Population Health Dynamics.”
It is important for employers and employee benefits professionals to understand the health of their employee population in the context of their employees’ education and socioeconomic status. Health is not just determined by “healthcare,” but also by other factors, such as education and income.Health is not just determined by “healthcare,” but also by other factors, such as education and income. Click To Tweet
For example, heart disease is impacted by people’s metabolism (bio-), their stress level and how they think about food (psycho-) and if they have a sedentary lifestyle and have friends who have unhealthy lifestyles (social-).
The November 2014 issue of Health Affairs published an article entitled, “Building Healthy Communities Beyond the Hospital Walls,” described how hospital systems like Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C. and BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, Mo. are expanding their mission beyond just providing “healthcare” to creating programs that enhance health. Their efforts involve addressing education and lack of resources and opportunities that a low income can bring.
The article points to several statistics:
- Childhood obesity rates in boys are 24 percent if the head of household has less than a high school education and only 11 percent if the head of household has a college degree
- 33 percent of adults with a high school diploma or less are smokers vs. 9 percent of adults with a college degree are smokers
- A 25-year-old male without a high school diploma is expected to live 10 years less than a male with a college degree
Like hospital systems, employers try to manage the health of a population—their employee population. How employers impact their employees’ health may benefit from addressing not only the biologic aspects of health, but also addressing the psychological and social aspects of their health.
- Compass Helps EnLink Midstream Design Wellness Program to Increase Preventive Care Compliance
- Confront Reality: Employee Benefits = Population Health Management
- Care Coordination Lowers Costs and Improves Population Health
To learn more about how Compass helps employees at more than 2,000 employers becomes empowered healthcare consumers, please watch this short video: