It may be argued that the American “healthcare system” is largely a “sick-care system.” The United States spends $4.1 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures. The largest expenditures in money, time, and energy are directed at curing diseases and treating chronic illnesses. Expenditures focused on preventive health and wellness care is small in comparison. American health care delivers extraordinarily high-quality care when one enters a hospital. However, more needs to be done to keep people out of hospitals.
HEALTHEFIT is a wellness program designed to provide preventive medical regimens, improve treatments for people with chronic conditions, and help people live longer, more productive, healthier lives. The model provides disease-specific exercise training and nutritional counseling on an independent basis or in collaboration with clinical providers.
I adopted the HEALTHEFIT business model at a rural gym in Wilder, Kentucky. I rented a small space in the gym to work with clients. I began with a group of 10 people with cardiac problems. My sessions involved slow exercise, as recommended by the American College of Cardiology and American College of Sports Medicine, and frequent checking of heart rates.
I worked with an ICU nurse at this facility, providing two sessions of exercise and nutritional counseling per week. I intend, eventually, to employ a disease-specific nutritionist. Hospitals often fail to provide ongoing treatment for patients with chronic medical problems. If a person has a stroke, for instance, he or she will be seen by the doctors in the hospital and receive physical therapy for a few weeks, which is generally the length of time insurance companies will cover. My model will provide an ongoing, cost-effective program for them.
My program is suited to address patients suffering from a wide variety of chronic illnesses. Doctors may wish to recommend certain types of exercises; for instance, heart patients need to stay within a certain heart-rate zone; stroke patients need gradual increases in muscle mass. I am a MedFit certified trainer, and I shall only employ professionally trained, certified practitioners.
Data collected, such as blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, and mass, shall be passed on, if clients wish, to their family doctors or specialists.
People often ignore preventive medical regimens for a variety of reasons: difficulty going to rehab facilities; boredom with the process; the inconvenience of finding a suitable time; and having a full plate of existing activities. Medical Fitness overcomes these obstacles, for it fits into the routine of exercising at a gym. Americans value convenience, user-friendly activities, and cost-effectiveness. I believe they will find my preventive health care model more attractive, affordable, and appropriate to their lifestyles. Individuals will pay on a per-session or on subscription basis. The gyms I have contacted are supportive, for they wish to advance a healthy lifestyle and see the potential for a gym membership to increase.
Nevertheless, the number of patients suffering from chronic illnesses is growing across all age groups. There will never be a paucity of people needing our services. By creating a program that fits into people’s lifestyles in non-medical and comfortable surroundings, we will transform healthcare into an affordable and preventative system.