An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Prevention focuses on good health, while health care focuses on the disease. Prevention care is patient-centered care, whereas health care is illness-centric.
Prevention is important because it works. It not only improves overall health, but also reduces the cost of health care. The financial costs are enormous for treating health diseases like cardiovascular problems, cancer and diabetes, but preventive measures provide patients a means to prevent them and/or diagnose them early enough to be cured with the most practical and economical solution.
Focusing on prevention is also important because it takes into account the complete patient – not just the condition or disease. Taking care of the person, takes care of the community. So waiting to pay for care when illness becomes chronic or more serious increases the price of the health care system in general.
More and more Americans are taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare’s preventive services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that nearly one in every six people with Medicare Plans takes advantage of one or more of the recommended preventive benefits. These services are available for free in some cases. The most prominent preventive services seem to be mammograms, bone density screenings, and screenings for prostate cancer. Among various others, Medicare offers preventive services like bone mass measurements, some cancer screenings, diabetes and cholesterol tests, and flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis B shots. As an extension to these services, Medicare also offers an annual wellness visit with a participating doctor at no cost to beneficiaries. Measures to decrease the costs of preventive drugs are also being considered and employed.
Medicare is making an effort to collaborate with organizations working for the same purpose of promoting prevention. For example, best practices from the Centers for Disease control, particularly concerning ways to reduce cardiovascular mortality, are being employed to provide the most suitable services. These collaborations are critical to moving towards a prevention-based model of care.
Overall better health starts with prevention. For a complete list of preventive services offered by Medicare, you can click here, and see services that you need to take advantage of. Make it a priority.
This is not a complete description of Medicare or the services provided. For more information and to speak with a Medicare specialist, contact Medigap, Inc. at 1-855-214-4404