The Chamber hosted a forum with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to discuss and tackle the rising cost of health care in the United States, North Carolina, and specifically the Asheville Area.
The Chamber is committed to finding solutions to this problem and brought together King Prather, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina; Lou Bissette, President, McGuire, Wood & Bissette; Tracy Buchanan, President & CEO, Care Partners Health Services; Dr. Marc Westle, Sr. Vice President/Chief Innovation Officer, Mission Health System; and Vicki Banks, Director Benefits and Compensation, The Biltmore Company to discuss how business should address the rising cost of healthcare.
Blue Cross Blue Shield was quick to point out the fact that 75 percent of healthcare spending is on chronic disease that is preventable by losing weight, eating right, getting more exercise, and not using tobacco. Employers have the opportunity to educate and encourage their workforce to live healthy lifestyles and combat preventable chronic disease. This is a great way to begin driving down the cost of healthcare.
Other methods identified to help keep insurance costs down were ensuring employees have chosen a physician and make regular appointments. A personal physician is much more cost effective than using an emergency room. Employers can also help keep cost down by providing time off for employees to make medical visits, as cutting down on cancelled appointments help keep cost down.
The Chamber desires to serve as a leader and convener on health care issues. Join us for our next forum related to healthcare solutions: Weight of the Nation: A Community Conversation about Obesity Solutions, Thursday, January 10th from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Wilma M. Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville.
And begin now to encourage employee wellness by aiming for a team in the Chamber Challenge 5K, scheduled for Friday, June 7th at 4:30 p.m.