• US & OECD Spending on Prevention & Public Health: 3 Charts

    From a recent GAO Report.  Fig. 2 looks like the US is underspending in prevention & public health, but since the denominator is total health spending, our middling result is not surprising at all:

    Prevention spending 2010

    Fig. 3 tells a more surprising story:


    In Fig. 4, the US rates very highly per capita:


    1. It is surprising (to me) how highly the US ranks in per capita and % of GDP, despite our heavy reliance on private health insurance systems.
    2. All of this data is 2010, before the public health measures in PPACA had taken full effect.
    3. Is this political ammo for those who would cut the Prevention & Public Health Fund?
    4. Note the GAO’s comments on the limitations of the available data.



    • I don’t find these surprising given the large amount spent in the U.S. as a fraction of GDP. Yes, we have more private spending than other OECD countries, but it isn’t obvious that should compensate for the large total. I think the basic story is we spend a lot.

    • Kevin
      The report allows for wide latitude in defining clinical preventative services. If you include PSA and mammo screening, because the GAO does, do you find the numbers surprising?

      A more helpful mapping would be services employed by cost/QALY or interventions based on cost effectiveness.