Prevention Makes Common Cents

While I was preparing to write my blog, I ran
into this paper titled “Prevention makes Common ‘Cents’ ” by the
Health and Human Services. It is long and detailed but I feel the conclusion
says it all. I am going to share with you the conclusion, and like me, I
suggest you read it more than once.

is clear evidence that the costs of chronic conditions are enormous, as are the
potential savings from preventing them, even if there may not always be
agreement on the exact amounts of these costs and savings. Since a large part
of the root cause of chronic conditions involves attitudes and behavioral
choices, the prospect of reducing their prevalence appears daunting and
promising at the same time. Attitudes and behaviors may be resistant to change,
even when the desire to change is there. Moreover, people often encounter
significant barriers in their social and physical environments. On the other
hand, the actions that would eliminate much of the morbidity and mortality in
our country are clear, and to a large extent these are practicable measures
that the average person can take. By changing the way they live, Americans
could change their personal health status and the health landscape of the
Nation dramatically. Americans could save themselves, their employers, and the
Nation substantial amounts of money if they took certain measures that are
well-understood and relatively modest in scope. Even though some efforts over
the last several decades to educate individuals about ways to improve their
health and prevent disease have had limited influence on large proportions of
our population, others have been very successful. Public and private policies
need to focus on sustained efforts to encourage positive behaviors, building on
proven, successful models. Key to these efforts is the recognition that the
worksite is a place that can be conducive to good health.
stakes are so great that the challenge must be met. It is ironic that in this
day of high-tech, complex, and costly medical procedures and treatments,
simple, inexpensive, easily-understood actions, such as increasing physical
activity, controlling weight, and quitting smoking, could have such a huge
impact on the quality of life and the cost of health care. While there always
will be legitimate debate over the costs and benefits of particular health
promotion and disease prevention endeavors, the Nation simply cannot afford not
to step up efforts to reverse the growing prevalence of chronic disorders.
Resources and energy need to be marshaled in all sectors and at all levels of
society-federal, state, tribal, and local governments, foundations,
associations, health care providers and insurers, businesses, communities,
schools, families, and individuals-to control and prevent the chronic conditions
that threaten the Nation’s physical and financial well-being.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *