Last week the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a report that focused on opportunities for investing in prevention as a way to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
With a large and growing amount of health spending focused on older Americans with increasing amounts of chronic disease, prevention is an increasingly important strategy for improving the health of the population — an obviously worthwhile goal. However, the report from the BPC Prevention Task Force stresses that if done right, prevention can also save money.
The report recommends a two-part framework for increasing the amount and utility of prevention.
The first part involves making sure the data is available to best target, utilize and improve upon prevention strategies. The second part involves folding prevention and incentives for prevention into the widespread health care delivery system reforms currently being undertaken through Medicare and the private sector.
Importantly, the report offers the reminder that effective prevention strategies will require the mobilization of resources and other broad levers in communities, social institutions, local governments and federal programs.