“I’ve got a stomach bug.”
“Umm, I’m having some bathroom issues.”
“Yeah, I’m feeling really sluggish this morning.”
“I’m a little under the weather.”
“Look, I just can’t make it in today.”
The phrasing may vary, but the culprit is the same—something people don’t want to talk about but that 74% of Americans struggle with from time to time: gut trouble.
Digestive Disease in the US
For 70 million Americans, it’s more than just occasional upset; it’s a chronic digestive disease. That number may be surprising—how can so many people be suffering without the rest of us knowing? Well, the stigma of digestive symptoms (diarrhea, bloating, constipation, uncontrollable bowels and gas) causes people to suffer in silence…or through a string of sugar-coated, generalized excuses like the ones above. But the fact is, digestive diseases are skyrocketing, especially compared to other chronic conditions:
Financial Toll of Digestive Disease
A happy, healthy workforce is something all employers strive for. When digestive disease affects your employees, though, not only does it take a toll on well-being and morale, but it also costs your company lost productivity and thousands, if not millions, of dollars in healthcare expenses.
Don’t believe us? Vivante Health has the data to back it up. We run a unique claims analysis for our organizations which digs deep into that health insurance claim category labeled “other.” We consistently find that, regardless of industry or company size, about 1 in 6 employees have a digestive disease. For employees with digestive disease:
- Absenteeism is a staggering 35 days/person/year, which is 3x higher than most chronic diseases.
- Symptoms are chronic and episodic, leading to repeated ER admissions and surgeries—incredibly costly healthcare services.
- Productivity suffers. Traditional wellness programs have done very little to help, and treating physicians often can’t provide the care required to reduce ER visits, much less help people with gut trouble perform well at work.
Again, we’re not just talking about a select few individuals. Over 70 million Americans—1 in 3 adults and 1 in 2 women—have a digestive condition. Other published stats are jaw-dropping:
- Over $200 billion—that’s billion with a “B”—is spent on health and pharmacy claims related to digestive disease each year.
- Gut diseases represent the second highest healthcare expense after cancer claims, with an average cost per person ranging from $18k – $150k/year.
- The fastest growing pharmaceutical market segment in the US is specialty drugs for digestive disease, which can be $70k/person/year in pharmacy spending.
Knowing all this, why isn’t more being done to help these employees and reduce their cost of care? Well, one reason is that these costs are not typically revealed in standard claim pulls. (Vivante can address that with a no-cost claims analysis to uncover the true cost of gut disease among your covered population.) Another reason, though… We touched on it earlier in this post: stigma—it’s too embarrassing to talk about.
Well, enough already.
At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. Digestion is part of life for every single person on the planet, including you and your workforce. We’re not embarrassed about gut health; in fact we’re proud to be leading the charge.
We developed a cutting-edge digestive health management program called GIThrive that uses the latest in gut science, along with brilliant technology and a human touch, to bring measurable, lasting relief to people with digestive trouble. GIThrive is an employer-sponsored program for people with digestive conditions, and it really works. It’s guaranteed to achieve measurable health improvements and save employers money.
The Vivante approach is fundamentally different from any other health program you’ve seen. It’s grounded in proven science and made easy for members through smart, interactive tech. The best part is, care from an entire team of nutritional, pharmacy, and medical experts is coordinate by each member’s Health Sherpa™—a real, live human being who serves as the member’s healthcare advocate from the beginning.
Explore GIThrive for Your Employees
To find out how much you’re actually spending on digestive disease and how it’s affecting your organization, contact us now or get a rough estimate using the free online cost calculator tool. Just enter the number of employees and see your organization’s estimated gut disease breakdown.
Time and again, employers find that GIThrive is an excellent investment. It’s the first and only solution designed to rein in the soaring medical and pharmaceutical costs related to digestive disease.