News & Commentary

Briefly Noted June 2012

Inappropriate prescription drug use is a national health epidemic, according to the national laboratory chain Quest Diagnostics. A Quest study analyzes a national sample of about 76,000 urine specimens (donor identities withheld) that were taken last year. It finds that more than 60 percent of respondents were not taking drugs in accordance with doctors’ orders. This cuts across all ages and income levels, although the very young are more likely to misuse.

Chrysler rolled out results from its wellness efforts and is crowing about them. Health care costs for its approximately 13,000 salaried employees stayed flat in 2011. In 2010, on the other hand, the company as a whole saw a 10 percent increase in health care spending. “We’re talking to our employees about the importance of getting a health physical,” Kathleen Neal, Chrysler’s director of integrated health care and disability, tells the Detroit News. Employees have higher copayments if they don’t get a yearly physical. Ninety percent of employees and their spouses in the PPO got physicals last year.


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