Investing just $10 per person per year in proven community-based disease-prevention programs could reduce healthcare spending by more than $16 billion within five years, according to a new report by the Trust for Americas Health.
Using a research model developed by the Urban Institute and studies conducted by the New York Academy of Medicine, the authors conclude that simple, tested wellness strategies can drastically reduce healthcare spending. Such strategies include access to affordable, nutritious foods and safe sidewalks and parks and increasing the cost of tobacco products, the Washington-based policy group said.
Healthcare costs are crippling the U.S. economy, Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for Americas Health, said in a written statement. Keeping Americans healthier is one of the most important, but overlooked ways we could reduce these costs.
Of the $16 billion estimated in savings, Medicare would save $5 billion, Medicaid more than $1.9 billion and private payers could save more than $9 billion a year. States with the highest healthcare spendingsuch as California, Texas, New York and Floridacould save $1 billion or more per year through targeted community-based disease-prevention programs, according to the report. -- by Rebecca Vesely