What Is Currently Spent on Prevention as Compared to Treatment?

George Miller, Charles Roehrig, Paul Hughes-Cromwick and Ani Turner Ba

in Prevention vs. Treatment

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199837373
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919499 | DOI:
What Is Currently Spent on Prevention as Compared to Treatment?

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In this chapter we address the need for metrics and methods to measure spending on prevention as a basis for understanding the current distribution of funds between prevention and treatment and to promote discussion regarding the amount that should be spent on prevention. We develop a taxonomy of prevention and produce an estimate of the portion of the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) that is devoted to prevention activities. Our estimate suggests that roughly 8.6 percent of expenditures captured by the NHEA are devoted to prevention. The difference between this estimate and earlier estimates (that suggest that as little as 1 to 2 percent of national expenditures are devoted to prevention) indicates a need for a dialog on what activities should be included in the estimate and on methods for establishing the magnitude of the associated expenditures. In addition to developing this expenditure estimate, we sketch preliminary ideas for extensions of this work that include methods to expand the estimate beyond the NHEA, and methods to explore the relationships in the cost effectiveness of alternative allocations of expenditures among prevention interventions, treatment interventions, research into new preventive measures, and research into new treatments.

Keywords: primary prevention; secondary prevention; cost effectiveness; prevention; NHEA; expenditure

Chapter.  6265 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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