Prevention takes more than an apple a day

Carl Johnson“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It may be a cliché, but it is also a truism. Today, prevention in health care is more important than ever.

Several key changes are pushing payers and providers more deeply into preventive services for the populations they serve. The rise of value-based care is necessitating earlier interaction by providers. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) now requires insurers to pay for certain preventive services. As the industry moves from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, preventive services will be the bridge.

Some health insurers and providers already are on the preventive services bandwagon, but this will be a far-from-speedy transition. Prevention has not been emphasized in the fee-for-service environment. Medical professionals usually focus on patients presenting at a clinic or facility with an acute problem. At that point, health care is about illness management.

Prevention, on the other hand, is about more than keeping people out of hospital beds. The focus is on keeping entire populations healthy and reducing the instances where outcomes may result in hospitalizations, long-term care, or even death.

In this blog series, I’ll examine how preventive services are shaping up to make a huge impact on our transition to value-based patient care. Coming next is an evaluation as to why preventive services are important, both from a population health perspective and to an organization’s financial standing.

For more on the subject, please download our full white paper: Why prevention matters.

–Carl Johnson, MD, EdM, MSc.

About the Author:

Carl Johnson, MD, EdM, MSc. is a pediatrician trained at Boston Children’s Hospital. He completed a Medical Education fellowship at Harvard Medical School and was a faculty health services researcher at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Before joining Optum Analytics he worked as a physician executive at Cerner Corporation. He is a graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, University of California at San Francisco, The Ohio State University, and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Johnson believes that healthcare can be transformed with the help of the right data. When he is not helping to transform healthcare, he can be found playing tennis, cooking, perfecting his French, taking photographs, reading historical fiction, listening to music, and watching Ohio State Football.

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