Preventive Medicine Will Save Money—But Not the Government’s Current DefinitionSubmitted by Ed Thinking on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:26
Sharon Begley’s recent Reuters piece, Think Preventive Medicine Will Save Money? Think Again, brought renewed attention to the seemingly low economic benefits of preventive medicine, as currently defined. New findings are out from Trust for America’s Health’s new report, and their outlined plan “to move from sick care to health care in four years.”
Begley’s piece homed in on screenings that have shown positive economic impact, such as education efforts to counsel patients on using baby aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, screening pregnant woman for HIV and certain immunizations.
However, some of the best-known preventive measures, including annual physicals and cancer screenings for a number of populations of disease, including testicular cancer, ovarian cancer and PSA tests for prostrate, have been shown neither to save money nor improve one’s health. Simply put, screening a large population for a number of diseases is cost-prohibitive, with the number of lives saved comparably low.