The Value Proposition of Prevention: The Impacts of Pure North S’Energy Foundation’s Preventive Care Program on Acute Care Utilization in Alberta
29 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2016
Date Written: April 7, 2016
This analysis of Pure North S’Energy Foundation’s preventive health services shows that the acute health care cost savings of being pro-active, rather than reactive, and averting chronic disease, are significant, immediate and worth pursuing further. Chronic disease, such as cardiovascular maladies, diabetes, cancer and other long-term illnesses, represents the leading cause of disability and death in Canada. An estimated 25 percent of expenditures in the public health system go towards treating these frequently avoidable diseases. This health-care cost curve, which sees more money expended on fighting the increase of chronic disease, can be bent, so to speak, through prevention services that offer long-term benefits to people’s health. Preventing disease is not just good for individuals, but for the health system in general, as prevention frees up acute care beds for more timely access by those who need them. The concern for health care decision makers struggling to find dollars to meet current health care needs is that investment in prevention is risky compared spending on medical treatment. It is often expressed that the health cost savings of prevention are too far off in the future and there is a lack of convincing evidence that preventive services and interventions will achieve the health gains expected. Pure North offers participants in its eight-year-old program access to a variety of health-care practitioners, including doctors, naturopaths, nurses, nurse practitioners and dentists.
Keywords: preventive care, healthcare alberta, acute care
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