Taking the copay out of staying healthy
Being healthy is starting to cost a lot less. Americans get only about half the preventive services recommended by their physicians, according to a 2003 report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The consequences are significant: A 2007 study by the Partnership for Prevention found that more than 100,000 lives could be saved annually by increasing the use of just five services: aspirin to prevent heart disease, smoking cessation assistance, screenings for breast and colorectal cancers, and flu shots. There are many reasons why patients may not be getting preventive services. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health reform law passed this year, is attempting to remedy at least one of them: cost.
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