Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
Prevention Institute




Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute alert: September 9, 2014

Closing the Loop: Why We Need to Invest—and Reinvest—in Prevention

The Institute for Medicine today published a discussion paper authored by PI’s Larry Cohen and Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president of The California Endowment. The paper, Closing the Loop: Why We Need to Invest—and Reinvest—in Prevention, is aimed at catalyzing conversation about new ways to create sustainable funding mechanisms that support prevention and reduce healthcare costs. Read the paper here.

There’s a growing consensus among policymakers and health planners that if we want to improve health outcomes and lower costs we must change community conditions in ways that support health and prevent illness and injury before they occur. In their article, Larry and Tony outline some of the essential elements of a sustainable funding mechanism. They argue that we need to “close the loop” by ensuring that when prevention efforts DO save money, substantial portions of that money get plowed back into prevention.  While many payment strategies rely on healthcare to foot the bill for emerging prevention efforts, a closing-the-loop strategy would ensure that much of the funding for prevention could emerge from taxes, fees, legal settlements and other measures,  reducing the burden on health care.  The paper begins on a provocative note:
“What would you say about an investment that returned 5,500 percent? If you were lucky enough to have made the investment, you’d probably look for ways to reinvest most of it to earn more of those hefty returns.”
They point to a fascinating study released last year by UC-San Francisco researchers, which found that California invested $2.4 billion from cigarette taxes into the state’s tobacco control program—and got a whopping $134 billion return—5500 percent—in the form of reduced medical expenditures. And yet, as the paper points out, very little of that $134 billion in savings went back into further efforts to prevent smoking.  That needs to change.
We hope you’ll read the paper, think about it and share it with your colleagues and friends. We’d like to know your thoughts. An excerpt of this paper has also been posted as a Guest Voice at Community Commons and you can share your comments there. If you’re active on social media, please think about posting a link to the article and the Community Commons blog and sending out some tweets. Here are a couple of sample tweets you’re free to use or modify:

  •  Invest. Prevent. Save. Reinvest. Closing the loop for health. Read new IOM paper from @preventioninst @CalEndow www.iom.edu/closingtheloop
  • Close the loop on savings from #prevention and #phealth! New paper from @theIOM roundtable & @preventioninst: www.iom.edu/closingtheloop

Read Closing the Loop

Download the paper from the Institute of Medicine website here.

How Can We Pay for a Healthy Population?

Prevention Institute talked to health-system innovators around the country to identify emerging new approaches for financing population-health measures that prioritize community prevention. Download here.

Learn more about Community-Centered Health Homes

Community-Centered Health Homes: Bridging the Gap Between Health Services and Community Prevention outlines an approach for upstream integration between community-based prevention efforts and clinical services. Download here.

See Calendar
Visit the Forum

Stay Connected

Visit our website: www.preventioninstitute.org
Prevention Institute
221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
t 510-444-7738 | email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org

Support Us

About Us