Dietary Supplements Can Help Reduce Individual and Overall Health Care Costs, According to a Recent Economic Report
The complete report, including a specific breakdown of the process of the study, is found at www.CRNUSA.org.
According to a recent economic report, people using certain dietary supplements provide not only specific health benefits to themselves, but also offer significant savings for health care costs for themselves and thus for society in general. This report, “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” was developed and issued by the firm Frost & Sullivan, an economic growth strategy company. With a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Foundation, they studied four specific chronic diseases and the likelihood of possible health care cost reductions when U.S. adults who are 55 and older, and diagnosed with these four chronic diseases, used one of eight complete dietary supplement programs. The study showed that when supplements in these regimens were taken at levels designed for prevention in high-risk populations, it can measurably reduce disease related medical interventions, and in no small way. The resulting potential savings were found to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and up to billions of saved health care dollars.
Steve Mister, president, CRN Foundation, said“Chronic disease takes a huge toll on people’s quality of life, and the health care system spends a tremendous amount of money treating chronic disease, but has failed to focus on ways to reduce those costs through prevention,” he continued, “We already knew that the dietary supplements identified in the report can play a role in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases; we felt compelled to find out if they could also contribute to health care cost savings by reducing the medical events associated with those conditions. This new report says emphatically that they do.”
Seventy five percent of health care dollars in the U.S. go towards treating chronic disease. Seventy five percent! Only 3 percent is spent on preventing those diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov). Inpatient procedures and emergency room visits, which make up what are called “medical events”, associated with just one of the conditions examined in this report, CHD, or coronary heart disease, will likely cost nearly $78 billion every year. If men and women, 55 and older, having elevated LDL cholesterol levels took psyllium dietary fiber daily at levels for prevention, the cost savings for coronary heart disease could be close to $2.5 billion dollars a year according to the new Frost & Sullivan report. This would over 2013-2020 be almost $20 billion in cumulative net savings. In addition, if all women with osteoporosis, who are over 55, took just calcium and vitamin D at preventative intake levels daily, total savings could be $1.5 billion dollars per year, or over $12 billion from 2013 and 2020.
The way Frost & Sullivan identified this substantial savings potential was through systematic research. They reviewed hundreds of scientific studies dealing with eight supplement regimens associated with the four specific chronic diseases, to measure quantifiable disease risk from these various treatment programs. Then through analytical projections, they established likely rates of medical care events in populations in a high risk category, and then looked at cost benefit analyses to determine the health care savings if these programs were followed by all those in the groups with a high risk.
Chris Shanahan, global program manager for Frost & Sullivan, confidently stated “As an economist in the face of escalating health care costs, it’s rewarding to reveal good news for health care practitioners, public policy officials, insurance companies and patients that select supplement interventions can reduce the chances of experiencing a costly medical event and help control rising health care costs.”
He then called the findings “a game changer” for anyone concerned about rising cost of health care. So basically everyone.
He continued “I anticipate this report will fuel the critical conversation around the importance of preventive health care practices to control health care spending, and the critical role dietary supplements can play in reducing the risk of medical events associated with these diseases.”
“This report provides one more reason for doctors and other health care practitioners to open a dialogue with their patients about incorporating supplement usage along with other healthy behaviors. For consumers, it’s a wake-up call to talk to their doctor or nurse practitioner, their pharmacist, or a registered dietitian about smart prevention, including which dietary supplements and what intake levels are right for their individual lifestyle. We also encourage insurers and employers that are looking for ways to lower premiums and absenteeism to consider dietary supplement regimens as part of workplace wellness programs or employee benefits,” said Mr. Mister. “Chronic diseases negatively impact our lives far beyond the direct medical costs and if there are things we can do to help lessen medical events and associated costs of those diseases, we should be doing them.”
We at Therapeutic Lifestyle Change have recognized these same basic precepts in nutrition for years, and are determined also to help provide education and specific guidance to assist people in maximizing their supplement regimens to mitigate chronic conditions. We believe as tie progresses, more and more studies will continue to isolate specific nutritional elements hat can, before medical intervention is needed, create healthier people, who can contribute so much more to society as a whole.
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