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Jan 12, 2024
What is cardiodiabesity and how is it impacting your workforce?

Cardiodiabesity is the triple diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, and it is becoming more common. A recent study on cardiodiabesity from Evernorth found that 93% of the adult population has suboptimal health related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. The study also shows how these three chronic conditions have a significant impact on employee well-being, work performance, and health care costs.

It's important for employers to understand the impact of cardiodiabesity on their employees and their business. With a tailored approach to your employees' unique health needs and lifestyles, you can provide holistic and integrated benefits to reduce costs and close gaps in care.

The rising impact of cardiodiabesity

Cardiodiabesity is costly for society as a whole and for employers who delay acting. Evernorth’s research estimates the combined cost of these three conditions is $719 billion annually in the United States. The key to addressing these costs is taking an evidence-based, preventive approach. People with risk factors such as hypertension, prediabetes, and high cholesterol need early intervention to manage these conditions – before they develop cardiodiabesity.

When employers don’t get ahead of the issue, costs add up from multiple angles. First, the cardiodiabesity category includes workers who are currently dealing with the condition and those who will be diagnosed eventually. The direct costs of caring for these employees can be significant. Beyond that, the combination of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity can cause significant negative impacts on worker output, leading to increased burnout, decreased brain function, and more. Finally, new drugs to treat cardiovascular issues, obesity, and diabetes are flooding the market, with a significant portion of the costs falling to employers.

Without intervention, cardiodiabesity will continue to drive astronomical health care costs and lead to poor health care outcomes. Evernorth's research on combating cardiodiabesity found that the combination of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and obesity exhibits substantial rates of progression over the course of a year, at both the individual and the population levels. As such, successfully preventing the harmful effects of cardiodiabesity relies on the use of integrated interventions, services, and support that connect and empower employees to take charge of their holistic well-being.

Early intervention and disease management requires innovative approaches, such as the well-being solution from Cigna Healthcare, together with Virgin Pulse, which allows employees to customize their digital experience, set a healthy goal, challenge friends and co-workers to a healthy competition, and receive daily reminders to make healthy lifestyle changes.

How integrated care can help employers reverse the trend

The combination of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity is becoming ever more prevalent among the U.S. workforce, but at Cigna Healthcare, our approach to treating it is personalized. We understand the importance of focusing on the individual employee as we work to reverse unhealthy trends, change lifestyles, and save lives.

Unfortunately, many employees delay care even when treatment options are available because of concerns about out-of-pocket costs. An MDLIVE poll found that 39% of Americans said prioritizing their health care would be too expensive or force them to tap into money set aside for other purposes.

The path to effectively addressing cardiodiabesity – and doing so in a way that controls costs for employees and employers – starts with proactive solutions that target the unique needs of individuals, factoring in social determinants of health, industry-specific conditions, and more. Cigna Healthcare integrates of people, data, and processes across medical, behavioral, pharmacy, and clinical domains to help facilitate this approach and ensure employees receive a holistic experience, no matter how they connect with us.

Cigna Healthcare works closely with clients to understand their business goals and their specific employee demographics, enabling us to connect them with programs that have been successful for similar populations in the past. For those managing diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, we focus on everyday monitoring, lowering the ongoing cost of condition management, and medication adherence. We’re tackling the high costs of drugs, so fewer people would need to make hard choices between taking their medicine or tending to other expenses. And we’re helping all employees adopt healthier, more active lifestyles to help them avoid developing these conditions.     

Take the next step in addressing cardiodiabesity

To prevent and manage cardiodiabesity and help empower a thriving workforce, it's critical for employers to focus on an integrated health care plan that makes care more personalized and accessible for employees. Combine this approach with a focus on holistic health care and proactive solutions that mitigate the high costs of chronic medical and behavioral health conditions, and your new benefits plan will act as a driving force behind your business' growth.

To learn more about the latest innovations in integrated health care and what they can bring to your company, contact a Cigna Healthcare representative or broker today.

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