To improve the health of communities and the general population, an array of health reformers, states and businesses alike are all looking to a range of prevention measures such as chronic disease management, alcohol and smoking cessation, and obesity programs. The hope is that these measures will also improve value and control costs.
But prevention efforts, while clearly valuable, often produce gains that are difficult to quantify in dollars. The Congressional Budget Office has repeatedly scored savings from prevention measures in leading congressional health reform plans lower than their advocates had hoped.
What types of prevention models are working for business and government? What impact on health have prevention programs had? Does the evidence prove that prevention can cut costs? What emphasis should be placed on community vs. clinical prevention? What improvements need to be made in public health infrastructure, workforce and training to improve prevention efforts?
To discuss these recommendations and questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored a June 19 briefing. Panelists were: Ray Baxter of Kaiser Permanente, Jim Marks of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alice Baker Borrelli of Intel Corporation and Judy Monroe of the Indiana State Department of Health. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.
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