Nov 16 2011

Recommended Reading: Prevention Saves Lives - And Money

A new policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks at the return on investment for prevention, based on four groundbreaking studies released in recent years.

The report notes that, "investments in proven, community-based prevention programs could result in significant U.S. health care cost savings and overall economic cost savings"—not to mention saving lives.

Some startling statistics from the report include:

  • Chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for seven in 10 deaths among Americans each year, and account for nearly 75 percent of the nation’s health spending.
  • For every dollar spent on health care in the U.S., only about four cents go toward public health and prevention.
  • Increased spending by local public health departments can save lives currently lost to preventable illnesses. For each 10 percent increase in local public health spending, there were significant decreases in infant deaths (6.9 percent drop), deaths from cardiovascular disease

    (3.2 percent drop) and more. Read a Q&A with study author Glen Mays.

  • Cutting the rate of chronic disease growth by even five percent would save Medicare and Medicaid $5.5 billion per year by 2030.
  • An investment of $10 per person annually in proven, community-based public health programs could save the U.S. more than $16 billion within five years—a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.

Read the policy brief and more on these studies here.

Tags: Business, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Prevention, Recommended Reading