Tag Archives: health coaching

How to solve the chronic disease epidemic and save billions in health care costs by employing 100,000 health coaches.​

It’s been said many times: Follow the money … and I believe it also applies to our health care system. Let me explain why we need 100,000 full-time and well trained health coaches in the US; why it’s not a dream but a necessity and a reality we’ll see sooner than we think.

Here we go:

The U.S. health care costs skyrocketed to $3.65 Trillion in 2018 and projections indicate an increase by at least 5.5% annually over the next decade. This number is so huge that you really have to see it numerically:

$3,650,000,000,000
($3.65 Trillion)

Just think about this: The US health spending accounted for 17.9 percent of GDP which is over $10,739 per person. (1)

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We also know that over 80% of today’s health care costs are connected to non-communicable (chronic) lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, pain, Alzheimer’s and other auto-immune disorders. (2)

Traditional medicine solutions are mostly focused on “managing” these very expensive conditions and even new advances in technology won’t change that because they are not designed or meant to address the root-causes or reverse the symptoms.

There is vast agreement between health professionals, governments and patients that this is not sustainable and more importantly that we won’t solve the health care crisis without new innovative ideas.

Now, here is my proposal:

We invest into root-cause trained health coaches on a national and global scale!

Hear me out.

We decide to invest 2% of the current health care costs into qualified and well-trained root-cause trained Lifestyle Medicine Health Coaches. Research studies have shown that the reduction of bypass surgery and stents can can save $30,000 per patient in the first year alone therefore cutting health care costs by 50% in the first year.

It’s safe to estimate that health care cost savings of 2-10% annually are absolutely possible. (3)

WOW, that’s a whooping $76-182 BILLION in SAVINGS. 

Depending on some variables and current annual health care expenses of $3,650,000,000,000 we save:

  • $73,000,000,000 (2% or $73 Billion saved)
  • $182,500,000,000 (5% or $182 Billion saved)
  • $365,000,000,000 (10% or $365 Billion saved)

Let’s be conservative and take the next step in this new Lifestyle Medicine and Health Coach focused health care model. How could we create a win-win-win-win situation with new high paying and fulfilling jobs created, the strain on current health professionals eased and most important health and productivity of people improved?

Stay with me … here’s how:

  • 328,000,000 people living in the US
  • 120,000,000 (120 Million) households
  • 25,000,000 high-risk households that need coaching (about 20%)
  • 250 households (about 1,000 individuals) are supported by one health coach
  • 100,000 health coaches are needed to coach about 100 Million individuals
  • $73,000 Annual Income/Reimbursement for each health coach (we invest 2% of health care cost now)

Now, you might ask what are these health coaches going to do?

Consider we invest in health coaches and divert funds to ensure they can focus 100% of their time and skills to help chronic disease patients shift their unhealthy habits to eat better, stress less, exercise more and improve social connections.

Addressing the root-causes will not just help manage the symptoms, it will help reverse them, improve health and save billions in health care costs that would have gone towards disease management.

Each health coach is responsible for supporting the patients using:

  • Health Coaching Group Sessions
  • Working with individual or family in personal consultations
  • Write Green or Lifestyle Prescriptions® with habit change strategies
  • Engaging clients to establish healthy habits
  • Providing support and helping clients through difficult times

Naturally, the best part is that people’s lives will improve, relationships will become more meaningful and individuals will live longer and healthier. Productivity and quality of life will improve accordingly.

Just think about what we could do with the additional health care cost savings:

  • Re-invested into research
  • Lifestyle Medicine and other educational projects
  • Repay our national depth?
  • Lower health care costs for businesses and families?
  • The possibilities are endless

PS: Lets summarize:

We invest 2% of health care expenditures into 100,000 highly qualified and efficient root-cause trained Lifestyle Medicine Health Coaches working with 250 households each; covering 25 million high-risk house holds; improving health outcomes of 100,000,000 people and qualify of life and save billions in health care costs in return. 

Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

The only problem is that unless we take action and demand new innovations in health care based on prevention and lifestyle medicine it won’t happen.

Here’s a solution:

  1. SHARE this article to everyone you know!
  2. DEMAND to have the option to work with a health coach. Ask your doctor if he/she offers Lifestyle Medicine or root-cause based Health Coaching. If NOT find a new doctor or clinic.

Be Well,

Johannes R. Fisslinger
Founder Lifestyle Prescriptions University
LifestylePrescriptions.TV

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References:
1) https://fortune.com/2019/02/21/us-health-care-costs-2/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6211719/
2)www.www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/docs/GrowingCrisisofChronicDiseaseintheUSfactsheet_81009.pdf.
3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9860380

Is it ILLEGAL to help people eating healthy?

Over the last years many law suits have been filed by local states and regulatory agencies demanding health professionals an health coaching to stop advising their clients about nutrition because they don’t have the proper state licenses.

Is it legal for health coaches to advice people about nutrition or healthy living? Is it a crime?

At the Lifestyle Prescriptions University we agree 100% that a high quality education is absolutely essential. But as reported by Dr. Mercola we need to speak up for freedom of speech and for the freedom to practice common-sense health coaching.

Heather Kokesch Del Castillo made a living as a holistic health coach and providing one-on-one health coaching for clients. No licensing is required in California to provide dietary counseling, but Del Castillo sought out licensing privately anyway and completed a certification program in New York for holistic health coaching.

When she moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Del Castillo naturally continued with her successful coaching, helping clients eat healthy, lose weight and live better lives until she received a cease-and-desist letter and a $754 fine from the Florida Department of Health for practicing without a license.

Steve Cooksey, a prominent Paleo diet blogger received a 19-page letter from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics / Nutrition with accusations of dispensing nutrition advice or counseling without a license.

The board ordered that Cooksey take down the nutritional advice or face prosecution including potential jail time. They even said he could not offer such advice for free to friends over the phone or email.

With the help of the Institute for Justice Cooksey filed a free speech lawsuit against the State Board in 2012. In 2015 they won a huge victory and the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition issued new guidelines confirming that Cooksey and other like him have the right to offer advice and guidance on nutritional issues (if paid or for free).

But unfortunately 21 U.S. states still have nutritional licensing laws in place that restrict the freedom of food speech.

CrossFit bloggers Russell Berger and Russ Greene reported that “Nutritional licensure largely traces back to a special interest group, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not surprisingly, the AND often grants special treatment to AND-certified nutritionists and dietitians, at the expense of fitness trainers, health coaches and anyone else who would like to warn others about junk food.

Is advising people about healthy eating a crime?

No.

The core of the issue is the fact that ordering any holistic health coach to cease-and-desist is a violation of the First Amendment. According to Institute of Justice:4

“Under binding Supreme Court precedent, laws that restrict speech based on its subject matter are subject to the most rigorous level of constitutional scrutiny. Moreover, the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the mere fact that a person is paid for their speech has no effect on its level of constitutional protection.

In this case, there is no possibility that the state of Florida can satisfy the highest level of constitutional scrutiny … In this area, as in most areas of life, the First Amendment protects the right of listeners to decide for themselves which speakers are worth listening to.”

Interesting enough even Registered Dietitians (RDs) may get into trouble if they give nutritional advice that is considered outside the box. For example, Cassie Bjork, RD gave up her dietitian license after fighting with her state licensing board for five years over what nutritional advice she could give:11

“I told my clients to forget fat-free or low-fat and embrace full-fat diets; to eschew calorie counting and eat more of the right things; to swap out margarine for good old-fashioned butter; to quit slaving at the gym and work out less but more efficiently … the board didn’t like what I was doing.

They didn’t think I should be talking about thyroid, hormones, supplements or really anything other than low-fat, no-fat, low-cal food. The results I got for clients, in the end, didn’t matter. They wanted me to stick to ‘the rules.’ And so I had a choice: I could change how and what I teach, or I could relinquish my license.”

While AND claims its licensing standards are in the interest of protecting public health, this would imply that seeking nutritional information from someone other than an RD is dangerous. But AND has not provided evidence of adverse events or harm occurring in any such cases.13

As it stands, in states that have laws under which only RDs can provide information about healthy food and diet, your health freedom is at risk. While it’s reasonable for AND to require anyone calling themselves an RD to undergo their specified training and requirements, it’s a whole other matter to seek to eliminate all other competition from the marketplace and turn others seeking to provide nutritional advice into criminals.

It’s also interesting to hear this statement from AND: “Every registered dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a registered dietician.”

What are health coaches allowed to say or do?

RDs go through a rigorous 4-year training, licensure exams before they’re qualified to offer medical nutritional therapy (MNT) and treat medical conditions like obesity or diabetes through a diet.

Therefore as a health coach you want to be aware of their credentials and know about your own credentials and your own expertise which is focused around education and coaching.

Therefore as a health coach you CANNOT:

  • diagnose medical conditions
  • prescribe diets to treat symptoms or any medical or clinical condition

If a client asks you how to treat their diabetes or obesity or any other disease then treating these medical conditions would be outside of your scope of practice.

It’s best to avoid “treating” or “prescribing” or “diagnosing” medication or any form of medical or therapeutic treatment.

Focus on educating your clients, empowering them to become aware of their lifestyle habits and helping and guiding them to find new lifestyle habits, resolving emotional hurts,  consciously choosing new beliefs and thoughts, decrease stress, eat healthy and exercise more and develop more love and support.

Summary

Excellence in root-cause based health coaching, being competent and confident in your skills is absolutely essential. But nutrition and healthy eating are part of the puzzle which often might not be enough to help clients.

We’ve seen tremendous improvements in health outcomes once health professionals and health coaches start looking at “The 6 Root-Causes of all Illness” and the Art and Science of Self-Healing especially when working with chronic health issues.

Second, all health coaches need to know their local laws and regulations and follow them consciously.

Third, be aware of your right to freedom of speech which as we know comes with personal responsibility.

And for clients and people wanting to improve their health and life:

  1. Check the credentials of the health coach you work with.
  2. Get a Complementary Consultation first and ask these highly important questions:
    * What’s the root-cause of my symptoms?
    * What’s the time line? Why do symptoms appear now? Why chronic?
    * Which lifestyle habits, emotions & stressors affect my specific symptom?
    * What’s the health coaching plan you suggest? 
    If a health coach or health professional can’t answer these questions with confidence and you’re not satisfied or feel not 100% sure that this is the “one” to help you towards self-healing … then continue your search and find someone else trained in Root-Cause Analysis & Solutions based on the Body-Mind-Social Connection.
  3. Most important trust your own instincts (not your doubting or busy mind but rather your own truth deep inside). Act upon that inner feeling and guidance and know that self-healing is a journey.