EARLY INTERVENTION: ACTING QUICKLY CAN IMPROVE PROGNOSIS AND REDUCE COSTS
Source: EU Whitepaper
There is substantial evidence that early intervention provides significant returns on investment and can improve the health outcomes, workability and productivity of European citizens. With this in mind, policymakers and stakeholders must do their part to support early intervention efforts through targeted healthcare expenditures.
Siloed budgeting at both national and local levels means that there is little incentive to ‘pool’ budgets or to push for investment in cross-agency working, even if there are proven advantages of doing so. Dr. Bevan uses the case of Sweden to highlight the benefits of pooled expenditures.
Sweden allows agencies at a municipal level to ‘pool’ up to 10% of local budgets to form local associations that coordinate rehabilitation services. As a result, between 2003 and 2012 the proportion of early retirement and disability claims accounted for by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) fell from approximately 40 per cent to 20 per cent.
The government, employers, and individuals benefited from the economic and social returns from the success of the initiative. Above all, the Swedish example shows that there is an alternative to siloed budgets which lead to low incentives to invest in interventions resulting in shared returns.
Bevan, Stephen, “Back to Work: Exploring the benefits of early interventions which help people with Chronic Illness remain in work”.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.