People often do not prioritize their health and visit the hospital or their doctors while detecting some disease-causing symptoms in their bodies. However, preventive care is the best possible way everyone can undertake and cease the risk factors before the symptoms become dangerous and life-threatening. The following article will focus completely on preventive health care and how it helps reduce further costs involved with healthcare.
What is Preventive Care?
Preventive health care or prophylaxis involves the measures that people consider for preventing any diseases. The form of healthcare includes utilizing medical services or precautions that fight against the potential health crisis. It is the most important step that people can adopt in better management of their health.
Several factors such as genetic predisposition, lifestyle, environmental factors, and disease agents affect people’s health. Hence, everyone must undergo periodic health check-ups and screening tests from the doctors.
People opt for preventive health care for maintaining better health, and eliminating the disease becomes serious. Preventive care in conjunction with medicines will save a patient from health breakdown and save money from future expenses, especially if the patient is suffering from a chronic disease.
What are the Preventative Care Services?
Here are some of the examples of preventive health care services, along with their frequencies. ·
Annual Check-up (1 per calendar year): During the annual check-up, the doctor or Primary Care Provider (PCP) checks all areas of a person’s health, including physical and psychological. Examining the patients in detail helps in detecting any health care concerns in the early stages.
· Flu Shot (1 per year): Most health plans include flu shots and protect the patients from all strains of flu viruses.
· Mammogram (1 calendar year, after the patient attains the age of 40 years): Patients over the age of 40 must undergo routine x-rays of breast tissues and check for signs of cancer and other abnormalities. Some health plans might cover the costs of 3D imaging. ·
Colonoscopy (usually once in every decade after the age of 50) for detecting colon cancer.
· Vaccinations, including boosters for such as measles, rubella, polio, etc. administered during childhood.
Preventive health care helps keep people productive and active, enabling them to earn well during their senior years. Studies show that approximately 35% of people have to consider early retirement, even before they are financially ready. Opting for affordable, preventive care helps in reducing the numbers.
Why Should Patients Opt for Preventive Care?
Access to preventive health care helped reduce healthcare costs among Americans, as the physicians can prevent or treat the disease before the patient needs emergency room (ER) care. Almost one-third of costs in America include hospital care, which is undoubtedly very expensive. In 2010, 21.4% of adults paid at least a visit to the emergency room, which reduced to 18.6% in 2017. Adults not having affordable access to preventive care are more likely to pay a couple of visits to the emergency room.
Statistics show that 7% of the adults in the age group of 18-64 paid visits to the ER in 2014, as they had no other option, regardless of their health insurance status. About 77% of Americans went to the emergency rooms due to complications in their health, including those whose doctors advised them for emergency room care. Approximately 15.4% of uninsured adults in 2014 are more likely to use the emergency room, as they lacked other providers.
Undoubtedly, the cost of ER care for uninsured patients was extremely high. Hospitals provide care, even if the patient fails to provide fees for their services. As hospitals must recover the cost, they shift to Medicaid and health insurance premiums, which increases the healthcare cost for everyone.
Impact of Preventive Care Cost on Health Care Costs
Chronic diseases are the major leading cause of death among people, either preventable or manageable with regular visits to health care. These include:
· Heart diseases
· Stroke and
· Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Poor nutrition and obesity are the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Genetics and smoking lead to lung cancer, which is the most common type of cancer. Obesity also risks several other forms of cancer.
Treating these chronic diseases is expensive, even before they reach emergency room status. Approximately 90% of the 3.5 trillion USD includes health care expenditures for people suffering psychological problems and chronic diseases. Patients who never went for preventative care or did not have any prescription coverage failed to afford the treatments, screenings, regular check-ups, and medications that would manage the underlying conditions of the disease. Instead, they head up to the emergency rooms with cases of strokes, heart attacks, and other complications.
However, with regular access to affordable, preventive care, the patients were more likely to discover and manage their chronic conditions. Doing so lowers the chances of visiting the emergency rooms and investing more into expensive treatments for those diseases, which passed regular management. With the decrease in the expenditure for treatments, the overall healthcare cost also decreases for everyone, as the hospitals no longer try to cover the treatment cost of the uninsured patients.
When and What Preventive Health Care is the Most Suitable?
A patient’s primary health care provider will help him or her coordinate the most suitable shots and tests. While analyzing the beneficial shots, the health care provider will consider certain aspects such as family history, age, sex, current health status, and several other factors.
Preventive health care often covers 100% of health plans and offers the patients several benefits both in cost and health. However, if the patient experiences doubts or are in dilemmas about the things covered and tests conducted, he or she must communicate with the physician at the earliest.
Everyone knows, “health is wealth.” If a patient is healthy, he or she will perform the best. However, it is also important to adopt a healthy lifestyle, reducing the risk factors and saving the patients from spending money on medicines.