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Dr Mariétou Ouayogodé: More Emphasis on Prevention Is Important for Baby Boomers

The increased emphasis that the Affordable Care Act and Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) placed on prevention is important in reducing the high cost of older patients, especially as the baby boomer generation reached retirement age, explained Mariétou Ouayogodé, PhD, post-doctoral fellow at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.


The increased emphasis that the Affordable Care Act and Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) placed on prevention is important in reducing the high cost of older patients, especially as the baby boomer generation reached retirement age, explained Mariétou Ouayogodé, PhD, post-doctoral fellow at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Transcript

How does a focus on prevention in Medicare ACOs become more important as the baby boomer generation ages?

The baby boomers are a very interesting population, a big population, because based on data from the Census Bureau, they are 75 million people who constitutes this population. And essentially for the next 20 years, the Census data shows that 3 million people are going to be reaching retirement age. So this is a very significant population that we have to be considering given that usually people who are older have more health conditions. So they will put a bigger strain on healthcare spending, in general.

Recently an analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at health status between the baby boomers and the earlier generation. So, we'll say their parents. And what they find is that this population had an overall lower health status. So they had greater prevalence of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and other issues that will put an upward pressure on cost when they age. So in this case there was a need for policies that will expend effort on prevention.

I believe that the provision in the Affordable Care Act, and now with the work with Medicare ACOs, to put more emphasis on prevention, it will definitely be helping that population, because in a sense it will remove financial barriers, so increase access to preventive care, and, hopefully, prevent diseases or even detect them early enough when treatment is most effective.

So I believe it is a very good thing to put more emphasis on prevention especially when we have this huge population coming in, reaching retirement age.

Dr Ouayogodé spoke at the fall 2016 meeting of the ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition®. To learn more about the spring meeting, being held May 4-5 in Scottsdale, Arizona, click here.

 
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