U.S. Preventive Medicine: Healthcare Savings More if Productivity Taken into Account

U.S. Preventive Medicine, the leader in disease prevention, today commended Trust for America’s Health for pointing out that the United States could save billions of dollars annually by pushing prevention, but at the same time stating that the numbers dovetail when compared to multiple other studies which show that the savings are higher.

“We applaud Trust for America’s Health for issuing this report and bringing attention to the power of prevention,” said Christopher Fey, CEO and Chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine. “The report confirms what many in healthcare have known for a long time — that we will save money — but the cost savings are actually higher.”

Since the savings estimates in the report only represent medical cost savings and focused on disease prevention programs that target communities or at-risk segments of communities, the actual numbers are higher when other things, such as productivity and enhanced quality of life, are taken into account, said Fey.

“To get a better appreciation of the cost savings from prevention, the Milken Institute study from last year puts things into perspective very well,” said Fey.

According to the 2007 Milken Institute report, An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease, the implementation of a national effort focused on prevention, early detection and chronic disease management could save the country hundreds of billions annually, with savings surpassing a trillion dollars annually in about 15 years.

Seven chronic diseases alone — cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, lung conditions and mental illness — have a total impact on the economy of $1.3 trillion annually according to the Milken report. Of this amount, $1.1 trillion represents the cost of lost productivity. The report further estimates that the annual economic impact on the U.S. economy of the most common chronic diseases will balloon to nearly $6 trillion by the middle of the century.

“Six trillion is a very large number. If the savings from lost productivity can be $1.1 trillion right now, it’s not hard to figure out how essential preventing these diseases will be for our future. Unfortunately, America is losing its competitive edge in the business world due to the heavy healthcare burden faced by employers. We are outsourcing too many jobs as a result and if we don’t ensure the health of our citizens, we may very well fall far behind,” said Fey.

“If we are to avert the looming healthcare crisis we must deploy a national effort aimed at prevention, early detection and chronic disease management…the time is now. Senator Harkin in his analysis has correctly indicated that if we work on prevention now, the return on investment can be immediate and that these savings will only increase over time,” said Fey.

“It is important to realize that for us to be successful, we need to create a nationwide culture of prevention,” said Fey. “We have taken up this challenge at U.S. Preventive Medicine and are working everyday to ensure not only cost savings for the country, but also good health for the hard working Americans. Making sure that we are healthy and productive is the biggest investment we can make for our collective future.”

About U.S. Preventive Medicine(R):

U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), a privately owned health management company with clients in 23 states and two countries, is focused entirely on prevention. The Company offers employers, government agencies and consumers proprietary products that improve health and productivity while reducing healthcare costs. Company products include: The Prevention Plan(TM), a groundbreaking personalized health and wellness program delivered online and telephonically; The Prevention Plan CM(TM), community-based chronic disease management programs customized for employers and government agencies to reduce healthcare costs; as well as The Prevention Plan Premium(TM), which offers high-tech, early detection services in partnership with a network of physician groups, hospitals and health systems. www.USPreventiveMedicine.com.

Source: U.S. Preventive Medicine

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