The Great Age Reboot: Applying Cleveland Clinic Employee Wellness Strategies to State and National Health Care Approaches
Michael Roizen, MD
First Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic and Author
The Cleveland Clinic Employee Wellness Program has been successful in bending the medical cost curve from annual increases of more than 7% to less than 1% over the span of the past 15 years, resulting in savings of several hundred million dollars for the organization and tens of millions for employees. The strategy included integrating lifestyle change into patient care, engaging employees in shaping the program and grass roots tobacco prevention advocacy, offering opportunities to be physically active and eat nutritious foods at work, offering a vast array of skill building courses and counseling in lifestyle change and chronic disease prevention and significant discounts on health plan premiums for enrolling in programs and achieving health goals. Many of these approaches can be replicated in other organizations to improve health and reduce medical spending, and may have similar impact in state Medicaid programs and federal Medicare programs.
Dr. Roizen initiated and developed the RealAge concept to motivate behavior change. He has served as Cleveland Clinic’s first Chief Wellness Officer from 2007 to 2019, and founding Chair of its Wellness Institute. The Clinic’s Wellness Programs helped the clinic not spend over 665 million dollars for its 101,000 employees and dependents over 10 years compared with national averages, and help 43.6% of participants achieve 6+2 normals® for health. He is certified in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology.
He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams, AOA from UCSF School of Medicine. He has authored over 190 peer reviewed scientific publications (he really is a science nerd), four New York Times #1 best sellers, 9 overall bestsellers including his initial #1 Bestseller in 5 countries, “RealAge: Are You As Young As You Can Be?”, “AgeProof—Living Longer without breaking a hip or running out of money” and his latest book, “What To Eat When: A Strategic Plan To Improve Your Health and Life through Food”, & served 16 years on FDA advisory committees.
He helped start 13 companies, co-invented a drug approved by the FDA, and has a weekly podcast now in its 930+ week; he and Dr. Oz coauthor a daily column syndicated to over 100 newspapers that translates current scientific reports into actionable steps for lay audiences. He is a recipient of an Emmy, an Elle, and the Paul Rogers best medical communicator award from the National Library of Medicine. Dr. Roizen is devoted to helping people live younger. He consults with patients in Cleveland Clinic’s Executive Health Program, and is an avid believer in Smartphone technology tied with human coaching and large incentives to motivate health thru behavior change to reduce need for illness care and thereby to substantially reduce healthcare costs.