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Consultation to Managed Care and Health Maintenance Organizations

When a 45-year-old businessman injures his back trying to prove his manhood by careening downhill on his teenager’s mountain bike, his health plan provider covers the costs of his medical care.

Today, health care costs exceed $3,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States — and most premiums are paid by health plan providers like yours. Yet nearly 70% of health care costs are preventable.

Men are the primary offenders when it comes to developing health problems that are the direct result of unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors. Proving their manhood — and believing that their health is “excellent” — are part of the reasons why.

Because they lack routine medical care and healthful behaviors, men are more likely than women to experience serious medical problems that were once preventable. The result is high health care costs — for men and for managed care organizations. Here are a few reasons why.

Men’s Greatest Risks and Health Costs Are Preventable

MEN EAT LESS FIBER AND MORE FATTY, SALTY FOODS. Health care claim costs are 41% higher for people with diets that are low in fiber and high in salt and saturated fat.

MEN SMOKE MORE AND HAVE MORE DANGEROUS SMOKING HABITS. Health claim costs are 31% higher for smokers.

MORE MEN HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. Health care claim costs are 7% higher for patients with hypertension — and nearly 70% more likely to exceed $5,000 per year.

MORE MEN DRIVE RECKLESSLY AND ILLEGALLY. Males are driving in 3 out of 4 crashes where fatal injuries occur. Health claim costs are 10% greater for high-risk drivers.

MEN USE SAFETY BELTS LESS OFTEN. People who don’t buckle up spend 54% more days in the hospital.

Most men have very high health risks. When these health risks develop into illness and injuries, they drive up managed care and HMO costs. Now, for the first time, consultation is available to help health plan providers bring down men's high health care costs. 

Developing a Men’s Service Line in a Managed Care or Health Maintenance Organization

One of the central objectives of managed care is to decrease preventable costs. One way that this is accomplished is by promoting wellness and reducing the use of expensive hospital resources. Promoting wellness among men, however, is not an easy task. And simply addressing the sex-specific health problems of males is not enough.

For managed care and health maintenance organizations to be most effective in decreasing men’s preventable health care costs, they need to address masculinity and men's attitudes about manhood. These factors have a strong — and unhealthy — influence on men's well-being.

Men’s Health Consulting Can Help Your Organization

Identify the most cost-effective means for improving the quality of care to men while decreasing their health care costs.

Establish comprehensive preventive services and educational programs for men.

Integrate preventive services and wellness education into primary care.

Develop partnerships between a men’s health service line and other service lines to minimize risk.

Market these services to the community.

A service line offering a comprehensive men’s health program and support programs to minimize risk can help your organization attract new clients — and discover the economic benefits of men's health program in an HMO or managed care environment.

While it’s well known that recognizing personal health risks is an essential first step in changing unhealthy behavior, few tools exist to help men do this.

Men’s Health Consulting offers a unique health education tool that is indispensable to managed care and health maintenance organizations wanting to decrease men’s preventable health care costs. HEALTH MENTOR™, developed by Men’s health Consulting, is a health-risk assessment designed specifically for men. With HEALTH MENTOR™, you can help your members increase personal responsibility for their health by identifying specific behaviors they can change to reduce their risks and live longer, healthier lives.

HEALTH MENTOR™ is easy to complete. It includes over 50 questions that assess 10 areas such as diet, drug use, preventive care, sexual health, attitudes about manhood, and social support. This 4-page self-test takes only minutes to complete and is an important first step in helping men to reduce their health care costs.

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