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Preventive Medicine Saving Money, Not Quite Says New Study So Your Body Is Not Sinking A Big Hole in the Economy But A Huge Incr

Posted Jan 31 2013 3:18am

I’m glad this report came out and it’s common sense.  Sure there are routine items we have checked when we visit the doctor and education and awareness are key for sure and endeavoring to live healthier life styles.  This should make many feel good and I have said for quite a while that the messages sent even to making people feel like evil twins has been horrible.  I am not saying disregard your health at all here either as we do need to listen to our bodies as well as follow some basic common sense with seeing a doctor when we should.   With the onset of big data there’s this big rush to get all the data we can get our hands on as we might be missing something.

Sure some of it is good when analyzed in clinical areas to help find which drugs work better and genomics is helping that a lot with sequencing and defining specific targeted genes.  We will always have studies but take a look around you and use common sense and with so many devices, apps, etc. they all want your data, and some is de-identified.  The real reasons insurers put so much of this out is that they want the data to determine risk and that’s the bottom line. Some of us have more risk than others, yes, but the mass media we have had with stories over and over and over about consumers being fat or sedentary or owning cats that kill birds, etc. have been way out there.

Some of this I call Algo Duping and our economy didn’t get this way because you are 30 pounds overweight, it was created on Wall Street, but that doesn’t mean not thinking about and finding a method to lose it.  Some how the folks that want to make a buck come out with these reports that say we can save trillions and billions and it’s a farce.  There are savings with technology too that can be realized but nobody including me knows what new disruption will appear in healthcare tomorrow, but there will be one, that I know:)  As I have always said education is the key and this crazy merry go round with insurers wanting immediate behavior change or the US financial ship is going to sink is crazy.  As the one comment says below if you start giving extensive preventive care to more who do not need it, it will become very expensive; however it does create a lot data to sell and some insurers are into that hot and heavy as big profits in the millions and billions exist. 

Getting into a wellness program is good as long as your data doesn’t have to be sold for profit when you participate but you don’t know as privacy laws are too ignorant to protect or advise you through any kind of regulation.  Big data can be helpful and especially with genomics as that’s all you have with working with huge data bases. A lot of the risk with predictive scoring can be absolutely wrong too and with money making algorithms today, that is yet another area we have to watch out for. 

Senior care requires more follow up as we get older and that’s a fact that won’t change and again according to this report 75% of healthcare spending is not going towards preventable chronic disease, again they want the data for predictive analytics to combine and score you with all kinds of other data that may or may not be credible, but it will sell the analytics software like hotcakes.  We do need to excise tax the data sellers as when nobody regulates we get all kinds of additional analytics coming our way, accurate and designed for profit. 

”Hey dude let’s crunch some numbers and see if we can come up with some analytics to sell and make millions”



A few years ago, and ahead of my time I did an interview with Proto magazine from UMass and the woman interviewing me was a very bright young journalist and pushed me a bit about rogue algorithms and this was when nobody knew what an algorithm was in the general public.  At that time about 4 years ago I said “there algorithms and formulas created for accuracy and algorithms and formulas created just to to make money and they should be the same in outcome, but they don’t” and this was before the crash of the stock market too. 

One last thought here on the data selling here since it makes billions in profit as that we should license and excise tax the data sellers.
  Consumers would win here as finally there would be a federal website to look up who sells data and what kind of data and who do they sell it too…transparency at last if we can break a little digital literacy into some lawmakers.  There’s so much profit in selling data and the web site could become quite large in content since so many are making money this way but that’s ok, I can deal with that:) 

Look at what else we can do here with taxing the data sellers, fund the NIH and the FDA.  The money it sitting out there to give the agencies huge relief if someone opens their eyes and we can all win and the greedy data sellers can contribute back.   Taxing data sellers would mean everyone, banks, companies, social networks, device companies you name it and it would be modeled just similar to a sales tax so no big model to create just a few modifications to make it work.   So hopefully we will be seeing less of these absolute “exaggerated reports” on the trillions and billions that companies promise to save as it just won’t happen in those amounts at all.  Watch the top vide on the left hand side of my blog and see how these reports suck you in and how they can play games and market formulas, a good education.  BD




Since about 75 percent of healthcare spending in the United States is for largely preventable chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, providing more preventive care should cut costs.

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In a report released on Tuesday, the non-profit Trust for America's Health outlined a plan "to move from sick care to health care" by putting more resources into preventing chronic disease rather than treating it, as the current system does. There is a strong humanitarian justification for prevention, argued Trust Executive Director Jeffrey Levi in an interview, since it reduces human suffering.

"Preventive care is more about the right thing to do" because it spares people the misery of illness, said economist Austin Frakt of Boston University. "But it's not plausible to think you can cut healthcare spending through preventive care. This is widely misunderstood."

One big reason why preventive care does not save money, say health economists, is that some of the best-known forms don't actually improve someone's health.

For instance, 217 high-risk smokers would have to undergo a CT lung scan for one to be spared death from lung cancer, according to a database of studies maintained by Dr. David Newman, an emergency physician at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. One hundred post-menopausal women who have had a bone fracture would have to take drugs called bisphosphonates in order for one to avoid a hip fracture. 

By comparison, only 50 people with heart disease must be treated with aspirin for one to avoid a heart attack or stroke, making this a good buy.

"If you start giving preventive care to more people, many of whom won't benefit from it, it's going to be very, very expensive," said Tufts' Neumann.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/29/us-preventive-economics-idUSBRE90S05M20130129

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