How Does an Investment in Prevention Improve Public Health?

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for 7 in 10 deaths among Americans each year, and account for nearly 75 percent of the nation's health spending.

More than 40 percent of the population has more than one chronic health condition. Preventing disease and injury is the most cost-effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. Too often, however, the health care system focuses more on treating disease and injury after they happen.

Strategic investments in proven community-based prevention programs could result in significant savings in U.S. health care costs. Provisions in the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) assist state and community efforts to prevent disease and promote health so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.

This Health Policy Snapshot, published online in September 2011, examines the cost savings of preventative programs and the provisions in the ACA that advance preventative health.

Read more from RWJF's Health Policy Snapshot series.


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