Preventative Health Services -- Including Obesity, Tobacco -- Can Increase Cost-Effectiveness: Study

Preventative Health Services — Including Obesity, Tobacco — Can Increase Cost-Effectiveness: Study

Of all the preventative health services, a new study helps consider how to prioritize them based on relative health impact and cost-effectiveness. And many of the highest ranking preventative measures can serve as part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

The National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP) the National Commission “provides information to help decision-makers identify prevention services and policies that maximize the health benefits of their investments.”

Now the group has released a new study — updating its 2006 report — titled “Updated Priorities Among Effective Clinical Preventive Services.” The study is published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

The group “assessed the potential impact of 28 evidence-based clinical preventive services in terms of their cost-effectiveness and clinically preventable burden, as measured by quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) saved. Each service received 1 to 5 points on each of the 2 measures—cost-effectiveness and clinically preventable burden—for a total score ranging from 2 to 10.”

Its conclusion: “This study identifies high-priority preventive services and should help decision makers select which services to emphasize in quality-improvement initiatives.”

This chart outlines the results. Among the highest scoring initiatives:

  • Tobacco use screening and brief counseling, adults: “Screen adults for tobacco use and provide brief cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy”
  • Alcohol misuse screening and brief intervention: “Screen adults’ misuse and provide brief counseling to reduce alcohol use”
  • Cholesterol screening: “Screen routinely for lipid disorders men aged >35 y, and screen younger men and women of all ages who are at increased risk of CHD. Treat with lipid-lowering medications”
  • Hypertension screening: “Measure blood pressure routinely in all adults and treat with antihypertensive medication to prevent the incidence of CVD”
  • Healthy diet and physical activity counseling for those at higher risk of CVD: “Offer or refer adults who are overweight or obese with additional CVD risk factors to intensive behavioral counseling to promote healthful diet and physical activity”
  • Influenza immunization, adults: “Immunize all adults against influenza annually”
  • Obesity screening, adults: “Screen all adults routinely for obesity. Refer patients with a BMI of ≥30 kg/m2 to intensive behavioral interventions”
  • Depression screening, adults: “Screen adults for depression with systems to assure accurate diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up”