For the first time in human history chronic disease is the leading cause of medical need, responsible for 71% of all deaths globally according to 2013 WHO statistics. Cardiovascular diseases are now the number one categorical cause of death worldwide. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of a burgeoning health trend that is dominating both individuals and businesses. As the Harvard Business Review has suggested "we have largely ignored one of the most important fixes to our health care system" "every dollar we invest in our workers’ health, we see a return of more than $4 in reduced health care costs, lower absenteeism, and improved productivity" HBR Article
Research over the past decade suggests that conditions like heart disease, joint disorders and digestive disorders are near the top the list of U.S. healthcare costs at $107 billion, $62 billion and $51 billion respectively. If we dig into how chronic diseases affect our daily lives, we see issues such as migraines, which influence the daily lives of approximately 17% of the population at a cost of care and lost productivity estimated as high as $17 billion per year. It is estimated that almost 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes with an estimated $62 billion in healthcare costs and $69 billion in lost productivity. One in three Americans are said to have at least one of the top 7 chronic diseases, with a current overall economic impact of $1.3 trillion -- of which $1.1 trillion is lost workplace productivity.
The significant challenge we face in healthcare is that the current healthcare system was developed during a time where the leading medical need was from communicable diseases. To effectively address communicable disease versus a chronic disease requires a very different strategy for both treatment and delivery of care. We need a system and a standard of care that acknowledges the principles and the variables that influence chronic disease. At the same time our strategy must include a target that can be realistically pursued instead of the current standard of care which suggests that chronic diseases can only be managed.
The pursuit of quality of life must be the target of a new standard of care when considering chronic disease. The paradigm of chronic disease dissolution needs to shift to one where healthy aging and healthy living become the foundation of any healthcare protocol. The key to successfully executing within this paradigm is a therapy and lifestyle centric program. Everspring Health is an emerging leader in this area of integrative healthcare and can help you, your family or your business take advantage of these resources today.