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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Evaluating the Cost of Prevention

Last week, an AP article posed a provocative question: Is prevention always worth the cost? It's a valid question, although some of the examples in the article don't always tell the whole story. And the notion that prevention is "worth it" only if it buys one year of perfect health for less than $50,000--an arbitrary cutoff--needs to be questioned.

The article does mention several prevention efforts that meet the $50,000 cutoff: smoking cessation efforts, flu vaccinations, and certain cancer screenings, just to name a few.

While no one expects prevention to be a panacea, it should absolutely be part of the conversation. We blogged recently about the cost of health care reform, and prevention--especially when it comes to diabetes--was a crucial component of the solution to rising costs, according to one health care economist.

So what do you think? I'd love to hear your views on the subject.

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