One of the best aspects of health care reform is it starts to emphasize prevention - Anne Wojcicki
Today, when a tremendous range of health information is at our fingertips, we need to make sure we are grounding medical decisions and choices on the best available knowledge and fact. While some home remedies can be harmless—an apple a day or chicken soup for a cold certainly do no harm–some folk remedies and urban myths can be harmful. Preventive actions such as improved diet and moderate levels of exercise have been shown to be effective in helping head off illnesses from heart disease to diabetes.
As a primary-care physician who also has served in the U.S. Public Health Service corps, I can tell you that avoiding what’s good for you is embedded in the lifestyles of many Americans. It explains public fascination with another TV phenomenon, “The Biggest Loser,” which celebrates both extraordinary weight gain and equally extraordinary weight loss.
But I also worry about the other end of the spectrum–people who put too much stock in preventive care. They believe if they only “live right” they’ll never get sick, never suffer or live with, or die from a serious condition.
How many times have you heard someone say, “Can you believe it? Sally has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. But she never smoked a cigarette in her life!”
In fact, 10-15% of lung-cancer deaths in the U.S. are not related to smoking. The risk of heart disease can be reduced by preventive health care, but we’re a long way from eliminating it. Vaccines are hardly 100% effective but important preventive measures that lower our risk of illness–people should get their children (and themselves) vaccinated and should get annual flu shots.
While preventive health care is essential, it’s not the answer to everything. There will always be serious or chronic illnesses that require high costly treatments, medical/surgical specialists, and resource-intensive health care institutions. Thinking that prevention is the answer to all our health-care woes can put in jeopardy the major investments – both public and private – that are needed to maintain the infrastructure of our nation’s entire health care system.
Medical schools and teaching hospitals are a prime example. They disproportionately care for the sickest and poorest patients; they train most of our health care workforce, and they are the bedrock of biomedical research. They are the safety net, the nation’s standby capacity when man-made or natural disaster strikes. In fact, 44 of the nation’s 48 designated Ebola treatment centers are major academic medical centers.
But sometimes when funding is tight, public and private investment is framed in terms of primary and preventive health care versus tertiary and quaternary health care. But such a dichotomy couldn’t be further from the truth. We need both.
Source: Atul Grover, The Danger of Over-Emphasizing Preventive Health Care, The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2015.
The introduction of new technologies into the healthcare system has a long and torturous history, but so to does the introduction of new skills and new ways of working. Evidence from across the economy shows us how difficult change is for any institution to achieve, but it's something that healthcare must tackle head on if it is to successfully transition towards a preventative focus.
The feature looks likely to fill gaps in care—and to further draw users into Facebook’s ecosystem.
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Polypills—at least in one configuration—battle heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses all at the same time. Should everyone over 50 be taking them?
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Our only strategy cannot be waiting until people are having a health care crisis and then trying to solve it. We have to be proactive in setting up systems of care that can help people remain healthy.
The question to ask is not whether it saves money but whether your money is buying good value in health.
A little background: there are three kinds of prevention.
What’s the best place for young men’s health care? Planned Parenthood.
Every time someone quits smoking, takes their child for a vaccination or has their blood pressure checked, they’re taking part in preventive health measures designed to reduce the chances of getting sick.
But how do doctors, public health departments and governments know which disease to help prevent next? And how do they know which people to target?
You have a fundamental right to access information about your own health. And you should be able to access that information when it matters most—when there is still time to change your life, and the lives of those you love, for the better
Prevention enthusiasts — and I certainly do count myself among them — have long contended that preventive medicine has the potential to add years to life, add life to years, and save a lot of money into the bargain. Members of the other side — let’s call them the dubious, because no one is really a prevention “detractor” — have argued that the former points may be true, but the last is not.
A federal health list specifically guarantees some women's health coverage available without a copay or deductible, so what about men's health? And what options are available for coverage for people who travel frequently?
Among people who do know, there is still confusion about what is free and what is not. If you go in for an annual check-up the visit won’t cost you anything but you will still have a charge for the lab work your doctor orders.
While preventive health care is essential, it’s not the answer to everything. There will always be serious or chronic illnesses that require high costly treatments...
Preventative healthcare measures, like going to the doctor for routine checkups and getting flu shots every year, are less common in the United States than you might think.
Preventive Health is a new tool on Facebook that connects people to health resources and checkup recommendations from leading health organizations.
The Dr. Dean Ornish Lifestyle Modification Program uses a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of disease rather than merely treating its symptoms.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services.
ACOG is engaging a coalition of national health professional organizations and consumer and patient advocates with expertise in women’s health across the lifespan to develop, review, and update recommendations for women’s preventive healthcare services, including HRSA-sponsored Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.
U.S. Preventive Medicine'' has developed a suite of prevention, early detection and chronic condition management products and services that improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs. Every person at our company is working relentlessly to deliver the "ultimate prevention experience" to more people so we can one day give everyone more good years.
Preventive care, such as immunizations and screenings for cancer and high blood pressure, saves lives. So why aren’t millions of Americans getting these relatively inexpensive services?