Last month, a public-private partnership of stakeholders spearheaded by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Research Center and FTI Consulting, Inc. announced the findings of a study examining the impact of health behaviors and chronic conditions on the Nashville-area workforce and economy.
The Nashville Region Health Competitiveness Initiative: 2017 Report, conducted by FTI Consulting's Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy, underscored a crucial need for strategies and interventions to address chronic conditions involving businesses, public entities, payers and providers.
"Nashville-area employers are losing more than $500 million a year in productivity because of three chronic conditions -- diabetes, obesity and hypertension -- all of which can be impacted by the behavior of individual employees," said Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz. "We hope this report serves as a catalyst for engaging Nashville-area employers in improving our region's health culture."
The report uses commercial claims data to assess the Nashville region's medical and productivity costs for chronic health conditions and compares Nashville with 10 peer metropolitan regions. Key findings include:
- The prevalence of diabetes, obesity, hypertension, COPD and depression is higher in the Nashville region than in many peer cities and is often higher than the national average, especially for ages 45-64.
- Diabetics in the Nashville area average an 11 percent hospitalization rate, 15 outpatient visits and 14 prescriptions annually. Hypertension results in an average 10 percent hospitalization rate, 14 outpatient visits and 12 prescriptions annually.
- Physicians and primary care visits serve as important touchpoints and access to care. High rates of health services utilization in the Nashville area suggest opportunity for improving health outcomes.
Support for the study came from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, the Greater Nashville Regional Council, The HCA Foundation, The Healing Trust, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Nashville Health Care Council, Saint Thomas Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.