admin - May 28, 2013
Two-thirds of all annual deaths in the United States are caused by five diseases – heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (bronchitis and emphysema) and diabetes. Such health conditions also account for approximately 75 percent of the country’s healthcare spending. However, there is a bright side to these facts – all of these diseases are highly preventable through early detection and health screening.
A recent Huffington Post article by Stephen A. Brunton, M.D., FAAFP dives deeper into the value of prevention in healthcare. Despite drastic cuts being made among resources allocated to preventive efforts following the “fiscal cliff”/sequestration issues and negative criticism, Brunton argues in favor of preventive measures as an effective, proactive approach to healthcare in the United States.
Brunton makes a point to mention the outdated guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that have stirred up debate about the usefulness of prevention in healthcare. Brunton contends that many critics in conflict against preventive care are not taking into consideration important factors such as “long term costs to the system or long-term health of patients”. In the long run, preventive health screenings can be a valuable piece of the healthcare landscape.
While providing an example of local community screenings offered by companies, Brunton mentions Life Line Screening by name, stating that “these types of collaborations between community-based care and traditional doctor-office and hospital-based care makes sense, and should be encouraged.” Some of the deadliest (and costliest) health conditions are also considered the most preventable through proactive, early measures, similar to those provided by Life Line Screening.
Brunton counters the critics of preventive measures and Life Line Screening by declaring preventive health screenings as valuable tools when used appropriately across the medical spectrum. For diseases like stroke that exhibit very few warning signs, health screening tests have the potential to make a life-saving impact. If we all work together to ensure a healthy balance between what is best for the patient and managing costs, we may not only see a reduction in healthcare costs for serious diseases, but a reduction in deaths caused by these highly preventable conditions.
Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-a-brunton-md-faafp/prevention-in-health-care_b_3324843.html