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Monday, June 29, 2009

Quote of Note: Does Preventative Care Save Money?

"Prevention of a disease, we all assume, should save us money, right? An ounce of prevention...? Alas, If only such aphorisms were true we’d hand out apples each day and our problems would be over.

It is true that if the prevention strategies we are talking about are behavioral things—eat better, lose weight, exercise more, smoke less, wear a seat belt—then they cost very little and they do save money by keeping people healthy.

But if your preventive strategy is medical, if it involves us, if it consists of screening, finding medical conditions early, shaking the bushes for high cholesterols, or abnormal EKGs, markers for prostate cancer such as PSA, then more often than not you don’t save anything and you might generate more medical costs. Prevention is a good thing to do, but why equate it with saving money when it won’t?"

-Abraham Verghese, "The Myth of Prevention," Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:34 AM

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