Prevention: Strong Investments in Colorado's Health
Current budgetary constraints spark much discussion about reducing public and private resources dedicated to health care services. Individuals want affordable health insurance and manageable out-of-pocket medical expenses. Employers want to reduce the growth of insurance premiums and increase productivity by keeping their employees healthy. Legislators want to care for individuals enrolled in Medicaid while working to slow the growing expenditures related to the program.
The financial downturn amplifies the importance of finding ways to cut costs and reduce demand for health care services. While maintaining and improving the quality of health care is an important factor in containing costs, prevention can reduce costs and demand for services while improving health. For these reasons, a clear understanding of the promise of prevention is key to garnering support for public health interventions among community leaders and policymakers.
The 2011 Colorado Health Report Card supplement highlights prevention initiatives that align with Report Card indicators. The selected initiatives realize cost savings, while maintaining quality. The supplement also profiles the impact of these initiatives on Coloradans and identifies opportunities for future investments as well.
An Ounce of Prevention
...is worth a pound of cure, as the old adage goes. Because each stage of life comes with its own challenges, it's never too late to intervene. Following is a sampling of strategies identified to bring a positive return on investment in each life stage.
For a more comprehensive look at how prevention can impact the overall results of the Colorado Health Report Card, read "Prevention: Strong Investments in Colorado's Health," a supplement of the 2011 Colorado Health Report Card.