U.S. Preventive Medicine: Healthcare Savings More if Productivity Taken into Account

Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:27pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

U.S. Preventive Medicine: Healthcare Savings More if Productivity Taken into
Account

DALLAS, July 18 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Preventive Medicine, the leader in
disease prevention, today commended Trust for America's Health for pointing
out that the United States could save billions of dollars annually by pushing
prevention, but at the same time stating that the numbers dovetail when
compared to multiple other studies which show that the savings are higher.
    "We applaud Trust for America's Health for issuing this report and
bringing attention to the power of prevention," said Christopher Fey, CEO and
Chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine.  "The report confirms what many in
healthcare have known for a long time -- that we will save money -- but the
cost savings are actually higher."
    Since the savings estimates in the report only represent medical cost
savings and focused on disease prevention programs that target communities or
at-risk segments of communities, the actual numbers are higher when other
things, such as productivity and enhanced quality of life, are taken into
account, said Fey.
    "To get a better appreciation of the cost savings from prevention, the
Milken Institute study from last year puts things into perspective very well,"
said Fey.
    According to the 2007 Milken Institute report, An Unhealthy America: The
Economic Burden of Chronic Disease, the implementation of a national effort
focused on prevention, early detection and chronic disease management could
save the country hundreds of billions annually, with savings surpassing a
trillion dollars annually in about 15 years.
    Seven chronic diseases alone -- cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke,
heart disease, lung conditions and mental illness -- have a total impact on
the economy of $1.3 trillion annually according to the Milken report. Of this
amount, $1.1 trillion represents the cost of lost productivity.  The report
further estimates that the annual economic impact on the U.S. economy of the
most common chronic diseases will balloon to nearly $6 trillion by the middle
of the century.
    "Six trillion is a very large number.  If the savings from lost
productivity can be $1.1 trillion right now, it's not hard to figure out how
essential preventing these diseases will be for our future.  Unfortunately,
America is losing its competitive edge in the business world due to the heavy
healthcare burden faced by employers.  We are outsourcing too many jobs as a
result and if we don't ensure the health of our citizens, we may very well
fall far behind," said Fey.
    "If we are to avert the looming healthcare crisis we must deploy a
national effort aimed at prevention, early detection and chronic disease
management...the time is now.  Senator Harkin in his analysis has correctly
indicated that if we work on prevention now, the return on investment can be
immediate and that these savings will only increase over time," said Fey.
    "It is important to realize that for us to be successful, we need to
create a nationwide culture of prevention," said Fey.  "We have taken up this
challenge at U.S. Preventive Medicine and are working everyday to ensure not
only cost savings for the country, but also good health for the hard working
Americans.  Making sure that we are healthy and productive is the biggest
investment we can make for our collective future."
    About U.S. Preventive Medicine(R):
    U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), a privately owned health management company
with clients in 23 states and two countries, is focused entirely on
prevention. The Company offers employers, government agencies and consumers
proprietary products that improve health and productivity while reducing
healthcare costs. Company products include: The Prevention Plan(TM), a
groundbreaking personalized health and wellness program delivered online and
telephonically; The Prevention Plan CM(TM), community-based chronic disease
management programs customized for employers and government agencies to reduce
healthcare costs; as well as The Prevention Plan Premium(TM), which offers
high-tech, early detection services in partnership with a network of physician
groups, hospitals and health systems. www.USPreventiveMedicine.com.
SOURCE  U.S. Preventive Medicine

Kathy Fleming of U.S. Preventive Medicine, +1-386-454-8845, +1-214-548-9083,
kfleming@USPreventiveMedicine.com
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