Article: Pay People to Be Healthy

How to reform healthcare? This article reminds me of how the city of Ashville, NC, succeeded at reining in its expenses by retraining its employees to live more healthy in the first place, before dealing with catastrophic illnesses and expenses.

John Miall worked many years for Ashville – a city I happen to love. Among his responsibilities was managing the self-funded healthcare program for city employees. One day he woke up and realized they needed to do this differently. Where he ended up was using money to motivate people with chronic illnesses, first diabetes, to take care of themselves. Employees would get their supplies for free as long as they visited a doctor or pharmacist regularly/frequently, and their progress was tracked.

This approach more than paid for itself in lower costs for the city and for employees. Now John works for a company that helps other organizations implement similar programs. He travels the country, speaking to groups about the amazing results he witnessed in Ashville and encouraging others to adopt wellness- and health-first programs.


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