“If they won’t listen to advice, then it’s going to have to be out of the pocketbook,” Casalou says. “If you look at obesity rates in this county, only 2 percent is explained by thyroids or other medical conditions. That means 98 percent of obesity is controllable.” Knowing that saving money can be a motivator, insurance plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Healthy Living already give financial incentives to people with good health habits, such as not smoking and controlling their weight. Patients can expect a lot more of that in the future.
Casalou practices what he preaches. Not only is St. Joe’s sponsoring the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s 300-mile bicycle tour in July, but Casalou will be riding in it as part of “Team Joe’s.”
His personal goal is to raise $10,000. But first, he’s going to challenge the U-M to create their own team. The fundraising bike ride could be just one more phase in their growing coopetition.
sidebar: War of Independents
At least one local medical practice has no interest in merging or being purchased by a hospital. Like a shy but pretty girl at a party, Washtenaw Medicine (WM) is still getting noticed while sitting alone at the sidelines.