Prevention key to reducing healthcare costs, organizations say

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Offering more preventive care could reduce the rate of chronic conditions and cut down on healthcare spending, according to a new fact sheet from the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and the Partnership for Prevention.

A total of 96% of all spending goes towards treatment of chronic conditions in the Medicare program. The entire U.S. healthcare system spends approximately 75% of its money—more than $1.5 trillion per year—treating people with chronic conditions, according to the agencies. Conversely, less than 5% of spending is directed toward prevention, according to the fact sheet.

Leaders at the organizations note that healthy seniors of a normal weight entering Medicare cost between 17% and 40% less to Medicare over the course of their lives than do over-weight seniors with pre-existing chronic health conditions. Some reports have shown that up to 90% of all seniors have one chronic condition, and that as many as 77% of seniors have two or more chronic conditions.

To view the new fact sheet, go to http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/pdfs/PFCD_onepager_final_002.pdf.