He's a nice guy. A family man who's good at his job. And when it comes to physical activity, he’s a weekend warrior.
During the week, however, he’s a little busy.
A Day in the Life of Tim
Here’s how the day usually plays out for Tim: he wakes up, rushes to get out the door, and grabs some coffee and a bowl of cereal—or maybe it’s a waffle, because that’s what the kids are eating.
He gets to work, but on the way he was already thinking about the unread emails he knows are there. So he’s already a little stressed out because he knows he has to respond to those emails—but he’s got meetings!
He tries to hammer out some responses between the meetings, which puts him behind on the other stuff he was supposed to do that morning. Now he’s using the lunch hour to finish catching up—although he’s only putting himself farther behind. So he grabs something from the vending machine, or a quick bite from the cafeteria. Soda? Candy bar? Maybe both.
The work day ends on a frantic note. Tim leaves the office and rushes to his kids’ baseball game where he gets a soda and popcorn.
On the way home they stop for a celebratory fast food meal. That night, tired and worn out, he hangs out and watches part of a movie with his wife just to get a little time together. She goes to bed, but he decides to stay up because he hasn’t gotten any Tim Time yet. Maybe he has a bowl of ice cream.
Repeat the process for the rest of the week—do things get better or worse? Does it matter?
Tim may be fairly active with the kids. He gets a fair amount of exercise on the weekends. He doesn’t eat a lot, so he’s not obese. In fact, you’d say he looks relatively healthy.
But under the hood, Tim has problems ...
How Tim's Health Affects The Bottom Line
Tim eats refined carbs every day that give him quick spikes of energy, but because of his stress load, he generates a lot of cortisol and insulin—the kind of stuff that is destroying his kidneys and liver. He’s losing his ability to think creatively, mostly because he spends his entire life in crisis-management mode.
And it’s all exacerbated by the fact that he doesn’t sleep well. His body is in a perpetual state of stress and survival. All those refined carbs are turning into fat—not necessarily the kind you see with obesity, but the kind that surrounds his internal organs.
The prognosis for Tim? He’s a prime candidate for Type 2 diabetes in the next few years. So let’s say you’re currently paying about $500 per year for Tim’s healthcare. And then let’s say it takes Tim five years to develop diabetes, which means you’ve paid $2,500 over five years for his healthcare. But once that day comes and he gets diabetes, all of a sudden it’s a $100,000 wallop to the bottom line.
How much would it be worth to you to have Tim avoid diabetes? How much do you think it would be worth to him? And what if it only took a couple changes to his lifestyle to accomplish that?
Meet Tim 2.0
One day, Tim comes to work and sees a flyer and some banners. He scoffs a little. But then his CEO does a company-wide announcement and all of a sudden there’s a little more credibility to what he’s seeing.
He attends an open enrollment meeting where it’s clearly explained to him that the company is changing the way they administer health insurance. They’re bringing a new provider on board—someone who’s going to help Tim focus on wellness, even if he’s already healthy.
Tim is interested, because he knows there’s no time in his life to work out (he believes), and he’s eager to see if there’s something he can do to get in better shape. He’s also a little surprised that the company is encouraging him to use work time to get healthier—it seems like a nice little perk.
He gets screened. He admits that he’s a little overwhelmed by all the information out there, and doesn’t know if what he’s currently doing is good or bad. He does know that he’s never had enough energy and feels stressed out all the time. He meets with his wellness coach and learns his risk factors.
His blood sugar is really high, and the coach explains his risk for diabetes down the road. They create a health plan, tapping into what really motivates Tim to change—staying healthy for his kids. It's still on Tim to do the real work of self-exploration; the coach just helps him.
Tim 2.0: Changing Behavior, Not Symptoms
Tim changes his day-to-day habits and choices. He doesn’t grab that quick bowl of cereal, but has a couple of eggs instead, or a green smoothie and a piece of fruit. It's easy, even on extra-busy mornings, because he keeps hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for when he’s rushed.
And because Tim is excited about his new lifestyle, he realizes how important his family's health is to him, too. They start to take time on Sunday afternoons to go to the store together to buy healthy food for the next week.
Now, during the work day, Tim has snacks prepared. He has a bottle of water at his desk, and he tracks how much he’s drinking. He still has just as many emails and meetings, and he still doesn’t always have time for lunch, but because he brought leftovers from home, he has options.
On the days when he doesn’t, he goes to the cafeteria and is delighted to see the new Vera-certified meal plans on the menu. Now he doesn’t even have to think about it—because he’s assured that he’ll get what he needs.
Tim takes off from work to go to his kids’ baseball game. He parks further away from the field so he can walk and unwind. He brings snacks for himself and his wife to munch on, and they skip the fast food joint in favor of a quick, healthy dinner at home. They put the kids to bed, and because one of Tim’s goals is to get more sleep, he decides to go to bed at the same time as his wife.
Tim feels great, and he knows he’s getting fitter every day. He has more energy, his cravings for unhealthy snacks have diminished, and he can see his choices influencing his kids. His co-workers notice the positive changes, too, and many of them are doing the same for themselves and their families.
Tim has also found that in meetings, he feels more creative, more focused, and better able to think strategically. He’s not in perpetual crisis-management mode.
As he sees the impacts of the changes he's made, he becomes an advocate for his company's wellness program.
It Pays to Practice Healthcare As It Should Be
Tim’s original healthcare costs were $500 per year. The per-member costs of the on-site Vera Whole Health Care Center add an additional $500 per year. Five years go by, and you've spent twice as much for Tim 2.0 as you would have for original Tim–$5,000 rather than $2,500.
But when year six rolls around, and you don’t get slammed for that $100,000 diabetes diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Instead, the cost to provide for Tim this year is the same as it was before: $1,000 per year. Ten years from then, if the company were to stay the same, the costs to provide health care could be anywhere from 400-1,000% better than a program without Vera.
And not only have you cut costs, you’ve got a healthy, loyal, productive workforce. You get better results for your clients, you win more business, and your company grows.
An All-Too-Familiar Tale
What's the moral of Tim's story? Traditional healthcare models have failed.
Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and no one is getting healthier. The reason? The current system is set up to treat a patient only when their problems are acute or chronic. In essence, it’s not health care. It’s sick care. Tim wasn't even aware of the risk he faced due to his lifestyle, and he never would have known until something serious happened.
So what if there was a way to make healthcare more accessible to your employees? What if it could feel personal? And what if was affordable?
Vera Whole Health makes all of this possible.
Our advanced primary care approach with on-site primary care clinics provide preventive, acute, and urgent care, and provide basic prescriptions as well. In addition to being attentive to patient care in our clinics, we manage referrals to excellent specialists who are just as committed to keeping costs low.
Our care team also follows up on treatment plans with patients. This managed care model provides personalized care to employees free of charge. It also drives down overall healthcare costs to employers through cost containment.
Imagine having access to affordable healthcare inside the walls of your organization, or just across the street. And it’s even better than that. Walk into a Vera clinic and you’ll find a quality of care vastly different from the common experience.
Want to find out how you can help your employees have a better story? Read our white paper, "Stop Treating Patients Like Cogs In A Machine: A New Vision For The Clinical Experience."