This week is National Public Health Week (NPHW). The annual observance brings U.S. communities together to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. The theme for National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2013 — Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money – spotlights the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing healthcare spending.
In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the prioritization of science and technology in his plans for the nation’s future. The President’s new economic plan calls for maintaining a commitment to funding research and development that can improve our quality of life.
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist . He was born on October 21st, 1833. After his death in 1896, much of his estate was used to establish the Nobel Prize. In 1993 on the 160th anniversary of Nobel’s birth, President Bill Clinton proclaimed October 21st as “National Biomedical Research Day” .
On National Biomedical Research Day, we celebrate the central role that biomedical research plays in improving human health and longevity. On this day, we acknowledge the promise that biomedical research plays for securing the future physical and mental well-being of people around the world. Biomedical research not only provides data that scientists and physicians need to treat and prevent diseases, but it also reveals the fundamental nature of life in humans, other animals, and plants.
Yesterday, the American Medical Association (AMA) and five other major groups representing doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and union members delivered a letter to President Obama pledging to cut the U.S. growth rate for healthcare spending by 1.5 percent each year from 2010 through 2019 . The coalition’s efforts are intended to supplement upcoming legislation aimed at decreasing healthcare costs for families, businesses and the government.
The savings — an estimated $2 trillion over the next decade — would come from changes in the public-private partnership and include:
- Administrative standardization, simplification and transparency.
- Aligning quality and efficiency incentives among providers to reduce over- and under-use of healthcare.
- Encouraging coordinated care and adherence to evidence-based best practices and therapies.
- Reducing the cost of doing business by developing technology and regulatory reform.
Although the proposed health expenditure savings is small, experts say it’s significant . The very fact that health industry leaders have stepped forward to voluntarily restrain costs is itself encouraging; these are the same groups that opposed the healthcare reforms proposed by President Clinton in the 1990s.