Mary Mirabelli of the Health Finance Management Association and Mike Giardina sit down at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games to discuss the cost-effectiveness of health. Mirabelli was first introduced to CrossFit while listening to Greg Glassman speak at a conference. After hearing him talk, she was intrigued and decided to approach him. She asked if there was a version of CrossFit for people 60 years of age and older. He affirmed there was, took her card, and said he would pay for her first six months of CrossFit. Shortly after, he contacted Mirabelli and set her up at CrossFit Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mirabelli is a 12-year breast cancer survivor who has now been doing CrossFit regularly for over four years. She recently received her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate with hopes of eventually starting a CrossFit masters group. Her oncologist says her bones have never been stronger, which Mirabelli attributes to CrossFit training.
The Health Finance Management Association (HFMA) is an organization that helps health finance executives navigate the complex world of healthcare. While working for the HFMA, Mirabelli is focusing her work on the cost-effectiveness of health — essentially, how keeping people healthy affects the economy. She believes the way to keep people healthy is to keep them out of acute care. As of now, the United States spends the most money on the acute care system — treating after they are already sick — and a lot less on community health and functionality. This is where the CrossFit model can come in: CrossFit affiliates can partner with healthcare professionals to develop health instead of treating sickness. This is what Mirabelli calls “preventing the preventable.”
Throughout the interview, Mirabelli provides examples of how this is being accomplished inside and outside of the United States. The goal of this type of healthcare system is not to avoid readmission, but rather to avoid ever having to go to acute care in the first place. These results will be achieved by creating teams of professionals who work together to optimize patient health.