Incentivizing routine care
Employers and payers play an important role too and can work with health systems to encourage more routine care. Dr. Kunar noted that the growing trend of employer-run health insurance and wellness programs are stressing the importance of regular screenings and incentivizing yearly checkups. The more healthcare providers can work together with the other systems, the more avenues they have to reach male patients and encourage routine care.
“We know people, especially men, can be hesitant to do regular check-ups,” said Kendell Sherrer, vice president of Global Benefits at Cardinal Health. “So, we provide free biometric screenings and flu shots on-site at all locations with 50 or more employees, as well as health assessments online. And these count toward a $450 medical premium discount. Also, preventative care is covered at 100 percent as part of our medical plans.”
As with so many other things, breaking down barriers and changing paradigms starts with changing the dialogue. Ultimately, Dr. Nabhan said, it comes down to conveying the importance of regular care in a way that is most likely to resonate.
“With men," he said, “I want to get the message across that it is okay to be sick, but it is not okay to not seek help, advice, or counseling."