In every instance, preventing a health problem is better than treating
it. Preventive medicine helps to do just that by screening patients for
risk factors and signs of various conditions and educating them about
ways they can be proactive in protecting their health. Under the Affordable
Care Act, physicals are available free of charge, putting access to preventive
care within everyone’s reach. At
Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, we offer fast appointments for adult physicals with our primary care
physicians. Here is a closer look at the benefits of preventive medicine.
Lower Medical Costs
During a physical, physicians can provide education about reducing the
risk of certain health conditions and treatments that prevent conditions
from becoming worse. These preventive services can add up to significant
savings. Consider these statistics from the
Surgeon General that demonstrate the cost-saving benefits of preventive care:
- Reducing high blood pressure by 5% would decrease health spending by $25
billion in 5 years.
- Preventing tobacco use can save $9,800 per person over the course of a lifetime.
- Every time an HIV infection is prevented, $355,000 in lifetime medical
costs are saved.
Fewer Lost Work Days
Poor health is extremely costly for employers. People with chronic medical
conditions that are poorly managed miss more days of work than healthier
workers and may be less productive when they are on the job. Making a
direct investment into employee health can be approximately two to three
times less expensive than the indirect costs of lost productivity due
to poor health. Further, healthy employees have fewer financial concerns
caused by lost time at work, particularly when they are hourly employees.
Better Quality of Life
When allowed to progress untreated, many manageable health conditions
can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life. For instance,
if a person who is at risk for diabetes doesn’t get preventative
care and develops the condition with getting the proper treatment, he
or she may suffer from vision loss, kidney disease, and painful neuropathy.
People with uncontrolled high blood pressure can suffer from a stroke
or heart attack that could lead to lifelong disability and even loss of
life, which could have been prevented with the appropriate care.