Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The passage of a health reform bill that emphasizes prevention and wellness was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while reduced life expectancy due to preventable risk factors was named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week."

The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Nominees are submitted by Partnership staff as well as the general public, and are voted on by the staff. Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders who are working to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority. More information is available at


Obama Signs Historic Health Reform Law, Steps Up Focus on Prevention and Wellness

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the health care bill into law. The new federal health reform law (HR 3590) includes many provisions aimed at disease prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles. The law creates a $15 billion fund for programs designed to promote prevention and wellness, such as efforts to address obesity and to help patients manage chronic diseases. The law also establishes a National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to coordinate federal efforts to promote healthy living. In addition, the health care reform law:

• Eliminates copayments for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receiving preventive services;
• Increases reimbursement rates for physicians who offer certain preventive services;
• Provides grants to small business for establishing wellness programs and incentives for employers to offer workers as much as 50% off their premiums for participating in such programs; and
• Requires chain restaurants and vending machines to disclose nutritional information.


Four Preventable Risk Factors Reduce Life Expectancy in U.S. and Lead to Health Disparities

A new study led by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and overweight and obesity currently reduce life expectancy in the U.S. by 4.9 years in men and 4.1 years in women. It is the first study to look at the effects of those four preventable risk factors on life expectancy in the whole nation.


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