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The Preventive Care Misnomer

It’s an old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  It’s certainly true in healthcare.

And all benefit plans routinely feature coverage for “preventive care” (in fact, under Health Reform, it has to be free).  But what’s considered “preventive care”?

  1. Physical Exams,
  2. PSA Testing,
  3. Routine GYN Exams,
  4. Pap Smears,
  5. Mammograms,
  6. Well-Child Visits,
  7. Immunizations.

Interesting, right?  Do you see it?

From a clinical perspective, only one of these services is preventive.  The other services are what we more properly define as “early diagnosis” or “screening” services – which have tremendous value – but they’re not preventive.

So which one is preventive?

And why do we mislead ourselves that the others are, in some way, “preventive”?

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