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Public Health and Cost Savings - Health Cost Conta

Public Health and Cost Savings- Health Cost Containment


Updated November 2012

Cost Containment header
 
The following NCSL Issue brief was distributed to state legislators and legislative staff across the country.

Public Health and Cost Savings- PDF File
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Cost Containment Strategy and Logic
Public health programs, also known as population health,  protect and improve the health of communities by preventing disease and injury, reducing health hazards, preparing for disasters, and promoting healthy lifestyles—the focus of this brief. Healthy lifestyles include good nutrition, regular physical activity, safe sex, not smoking and other individual behaviors to improve or restore health. 
Public health, also known as population health, is concerned with prevention rather than treatment and with population rather than individual health. Examples of public health initiatives include school nutrition standards, community education and screening programs, enhanced neighborhood recreational opportunities, breastfeeding promotion, smoking cessation and prevention programs, and regulation of dangerous and potentially harmful activities such as riding a bicycle without a helmet or drunk driving. Evidence indicates public health programs improve health, extend longevity and can reduce health care expenditures.

Summary of Health Cost Containment and Efficiency Strategies - Brief #14- Public Health and Cost Savings

State/Private Sector Examples  Strategy Description Target of Cost Containment Evidence of Effect on Costs
Arkansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Maine, Wisconsin and California Evidence indicates public health programs improve health, extend longevity and can reduce health care expenditures. Public health programs protect and improve the health of communities by preventing disease and injury, reducing health hazards, preparing for disasters, and promoting healthy lifestyles. Extensive research documents the health benefits of more Americans exercising, losing weight, not using tobacco, driving safely and engaging in other healthy habits. Less clear is the effect on total health care costs.
 
Additional Resources
About this NCSL project

NCSL’s Health Cost Containment and Efficiency Series will describe two dozen alternative policy approaches, with an emphasis on documented and fiscally calculated results. The project is housed at the NCSL Health Program in Denver, Colorado. It is led by Richard Cauchi (Program Director) and Martha King (Group Director) with Barbara Yondorf as lead researcher.

NCSL gratefully acknowledges the financial support for this publication series from The Colorado Health Foundation and Rose Community Foundation of Denver, Colorado.
 
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