Preventative Health Making An Impact On Medicaid Spend

A Recent Harvard Article: There is a great deal of conversation around preventative health and the impact it can have on the rising healthcare costs in the United States.  Providers and patients alike, debate both sides of the equation. One thought that has circulated: while prevention may delay death, it doesn’t reduce costs in the long run. However, many passionately argue that with early patient engagement and education, people will avoid unnecessary illness or heal faster. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to highlight one’s point on either side of the discussion. However, David Cutler, an Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied economics, and his team were able to prove that prevention is making a great impact financially on healthcare spending. In a comparison of 1995 to 2012, he shows a reduction on average of $3,000 per person. Looking at the whole Medicare population, the numbers add up to an impressive $120 B. Cutler urges that there is still a lot of runway in prevention and specific disease states need more attention, and that preventative efforts would be even more effective on the pre-elderly population.

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