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Making the Case for Prevention: Tales from the Field

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Making the Case for Prevention: Tales from the Field

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored a June 19 briefing to discuss 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. I joined panelists Ray Baxter of Kaiser Permanente, Jim Marks of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Judy Monroe of the Indiana State Department of Health with Ed Howard of the Alliance moderating to explore: 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? How can the Congressional Budget Office better capture the savings impact that prevention brings to healthcare expenses?

Intel started a prevention program, the Healthy Risk Assessment for all employees with a three step program. The most impressive results are a 21% movement of our high risk employees to a moderate risk status. Biometric health check, health assessment and personal wellness coaches are part of the equation to make this program a success. For more information and videos of the presentations, go to:

http://www.kff.org/ahr061909video.cfm

Another look at prevention is the importance for seniors and chronic care patients to monitor their daily health through in home technology solutions. All panelists agreed that chronic disease management depends on preventive measures – monitoring daily health to insure that trips to the emergency room and hospital stays can be eliminated or reduced. The Veterans Administration and independent doctors are turning to remote monitoring to allow patients and care providers to use remotely collected data to make decisions on a continuous basis, rather than waiting for office visits or emergency room visits. By tracking blood pressure and other health information on a more regular basis and sharing it through interoperable information systems and transmitted over fixed, wireless, or broadband connections, these technologies can support many care processes. For more information on the success of the VA program, go to: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/study-telehealth-boosts-veterans-management-chronic-care.

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