Despite the value of preventive services, adoption remains historically low. To change that, we must meaningfully improve access, convenience and cost.
Health care providers know that evidence-based preventive care saves lives. But every American also understands the challenges of getting that care — whether it’s a blood pressure check-up or undergoing a cancer screening. At every step, we, as consumers, are met with obstacles, which include difficulty in accessing these services, inconvenient appointment times and sometimes prohibitive costs.
This issue of the Health Trends report delves into some of those barriers. We also look at how we can put new measures in place, exploring ways to tackle the preventive care crisis and make real change.
As the leading health solutions company, we at CVS Health® know that the reasons people miss preventive care are often deeply individual. Some are too busy to engage with a primary care physician (PCP) in-person or virtually. Others may have barriers stemming from their social determinants of health, such as a lack of transportation to a doctor’s office. Yet others may need reminders or additional education about which services can keep them well. And, of course, economic considerations are always a factor.
As a doctor, this is a problem I am intimately familiar with: The patient in front of you is unlike any other. Effective treatment plans must be tailored to fit their individual needs and lifestyles.
Our more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners work every day to improve access and make health care easier and more effective. Better health care starts with your PCP. Decades of studies, most notably summarized in a 2021 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, have shown how PCPs create better long-term health outcomes* and lower overall costs, especially for people with complex and chronic conditions.
The role of PCPs in overall health is why we recently added Oak Street Health to our team. At 160 clinics nationwide, Oak Street Health is pioneering a whole-person model of care. Patients spend more time with providers and have a wider range of their needs addressed — including those arising from social determinants of health. That care is also provided by a broad and diverse team, which can include behavioral health specialists and medical social workers.