Insurance and personal wellness: A partnership for health by America's hospitals

Hospitals are more than a collection of trauma wards, operating and recovery rooms, fluorescent-lit hallways and seemingly endless corridors, where, parallel to a wall and as one long queue of gurneys, patients await treatment, tests or surgery.

Hospitals are also sources of information, trusted institutions that offer online summaries about an alphabetized list of illnesses (both major and minor), related symptoms for each respective condition, as well as diagnoses and prognoses for every individual ailment.

By providing this content to the public – by enhancing a hospital's stature, thanks to its sense of civic duty – other professionals may distribute this material to a much larger audience.

In fact, independent insurance agents (of which I am one) rely on this objective and straightforward information to counsel clients about their options, with regard to the conditions they may have (or have had, now since excised by surgery and medication) and the life insurance policies available to them.

Indeed, I applaud hospitals for this effort; and I have a page (others will soon debut) about the various forms of cancer that strike tens of millions of Americans each year.

I post this information, which I gather from a number of hospital websites – including the indispensable one run by the Mayo Clinic – because, if nothing else, these facts and figures should be cast widely across the never-ending expanse of that digital domain called the World Wide Web.

And, in my role as Founder of Local Life Agents, I want to direct current and prospective clients to pages (on my site, or wherever credible statistics are available from a hospital), which are of the highest caliber.

The reasoning behind this decision is twofold because, one, hospitals that compile or publish this information have a reputation that is free of political intrigue or ulterior motives; and secondly, clients are more likely to accept – and act upon – the recommendations a hospital posts about ways to, say, lower the risk of heart attack or stroke, or lose weight and stop the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Also, hospitals involved in this undertaking make my job easier to do and much more convenient to explain.

For example: When I meet a potential client, who has a family history of high cholesterol and personal problems concerning arterial blockages, and when I encourage that prospect to view my page about his or her particular condition before we meet, I strengthen my reputation for transparency and I subtly give that individual a chance to take better control of his or her health.

The Power of Information: Creating a Culture of Health

The overriding theme of this discussion is about leadership; the many ways doctors exercise it and the means by which insurance agents extend it.

At the center of this union of intelligence and wisdom is the hospital-as-icon: A physical bulwark, built to last and serve a community, peopled by men and women of great skill and integrity.

The latter makes their pronouncements all the more real because, as a result of the discoveries they uncover in a laboratory or the plans they devise through joint research projects, their information often originates from that indomitable institution known as the city hospital, the university hospital or the teaching hospital.

From there, it is the duty of others – it is my solemn task – to educate and empower the sick, so they can begin to heal themselves.

Knowledge is their intellectual salve, facts their universal companion.

Insurance agents are their promoters of change and protection.

That assignment is one I welcome with enthusiasm and sound intentions.

As the Founder of Local Life Agents, Brad Cummins offers the wisdom and personalized service his clients deserve. This philosophy defines Brad's entrepreneurial spirit and successful brand of business leadership. From starting his own agency from scratch, for Farmers Insurance Group in 2005, which he later sold in 2014, to his nationwide launch of Local Life Agents, Brad customizes solutions for his clients. A graduate of Ohio State University, Brad and his wife and son reside in Columbus Ohio.


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