WASHINGTON, DC – Jack Ebeler, a member of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities and president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, issued the following statement regarding the Commission’s release today of groundbreaking new research that ranks 25 high-value preventive services according to clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and utilization:
“American health care is intently focused on curing disease but does a significantly less impressive job of preventing it. Unglamorous as they may be, advice about preventive aspirin use, colorectal cancer screenings and smoking cessation counseling saves lives and reduces our cost burden.
“We have neither enough time nor enough money to implement every preventive treatment on a broad scale. More sensible utilization of preventive care requires greater understanding of which services promise the most health benefit and the greatest value.
“The new study makes a powerful, evidence-based case for services that offer the all-around best value. If health plans, health care professionals, purchasers and consumers act on these groundbreaking recommendations, more Americans will live better, healthier lives.”
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There is compelling evidence that the new preventive services research could make a big impact on the nation’s health. If smoking cessation interventions, which 65 percent of American adults do not receive as recommended, were offered to all smokers, it could save $3 billion in medical costs annually. Similarly, 65 percent of patients are not up-to-date on colorectal cancer screenings, even though it is the second deadliest form of cancer. If all adults over the age of 50 were routinely screened for colorectal cancer, an additional 18,000 deaths could be prevented annually. Finally, Chlamydia screening is recommended for all sexually active women under the age of 25. However, only 40 percent of women in this age group have received the screening service, which is highly cost-effective at preventing the unnecessary heartache and expense of lifelong infertility.
“Priorities for America’s Health: Capitalizing on Life-Saving, Cost-Effective Preventive Services,” and additional resources are available on the Web sites of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Partnership for Prevention.
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Media Availability Today
Jack Ebeler is available from 12.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. today for reaction to the study’s release. Contact Paul Skowronek at 202.785.2247 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview.
Internet Resources: About the Rankings and the ACHP Project
ACHP’s Clinical Preventive Services Rankings pages contain links to the new research and additional resources. You can also learn more about ACHP’s collaboration with Partnership for Prevention to promote the rankings and facilitate benefit design conversations between ACHP member health plans and purchasers in their communities.
ACHP is a leadership organization that brings together innovative health plans and provider organizations that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care to their communities. Drawing on years of experience, members collaborate to identify problems, share information and work toward solutions to some of health cares biggest challenges. Their work is the foundation for ACHP’s advocacy on behalf of better health care nationally. More information is available at www.achp.org.