Online Program

Importance of prevention in self rated health status and future implications

Monday, November 4, 2013

Amanda Ciecior, Department of Health Management and Policy, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Issues The Affordable Care Act will make a variety of modifications to the current American healthcare system. One of the most notable changes is a revitalized focus on prevention and primary care. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF was asked to recommend the most important preventative care measures to provide free-of-charge to patients seeking treatment1. However, whether these free services will be correctly utilized or lead to a decrease in the overall cost of healthcare has yet to be determined. Description This research employs data from the Community Health Status Indicators database and aims to link regular utilization of preventative services to an improvement in one's self-rated health status. As previous literature recognizes, better overall health is associated with lower health related costs by that individual. Lessons Learned The measures of obesity, smoking, diabetes, depression, lung cancer and high blood pressure are all significantly associated with self-report health status –while holding constant the variables of insurance, ethnicity, age, poverty, education level and location. Additionally, all of these significant factors are addressed through the USPSTF's rankings and are given an A or B rating to make the prevention or early detection of these illnesses free to patients. Recommendations It is clear that those preventative measures determined by the USPSTF could have a positive impact on the health of the nation, however, ideal usage has yet to be seen. Successful utilization of these services must be the next focus to ensure much needed future cost reductions.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
List those preventative measures that most impact one's self rated health status. Explain the importance of utilizing preventative services. Discuss the preventative services recognized by the United States Preventative Task Force as being most imperative to improving the nation's overall health.

Keyword(s): Prevention, Health Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a current graduate student in the school of public health at Saint Louis University. In addition to finishing my undergraduate degree in four years, I spent one of my semesters in DC working for a small non profit doing research and another semester working in the Missouri Governor's Office during the legislative session.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.