Prevention and wellness are essential components to good health and a high quality of life for Americans young and old. HHS is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Good health comes not just from receiving quality medical care, but also from clean air and water, safe outdoor spaces for physical activity, safe worksites, healthy foods, violence free environments, and healthy homes. Because the good health of Americans is intertwined with that of other nations, HHS is also protecting and promoting the health and well-being of Americans by supporting the vision of a healthier, safer world through global health action.
- Improve the Accessibility and Affordability of Prevention and Wellness Services
Co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, and other cost-sharing strategies reduce the likelihood that individuals will use preventive services. The Affordable Care Act requires new health plans to cover certain recommended preventive services and to eliminate cost-sharing for those services, to help make wellness and prevention services affordable and accessible. The Affordable Care Act also helps make it easier and more affordable for individuals enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid to access preventive screenings and services.
- Use Evidence-based Policies and Programs to Promote Prevention and Wellness
HHS is prioritizing evidence-based policy and program interventions to address the leading causes of death and disability in the United States including heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, and preventable behaviors such as tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use that contribute to those causes. Initiatives such as the Million Hearts Campaign exemplify these programs. The Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund is designed to improve our ability to prevent disease by detecting it early, helping us manage it, and by providing states and communities with the resources they need to promote healthy living.
- Implement the National Prevention Strategy
HHS is implementing the National Prevention Strategy, which presents a vision, goals, and action items that public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and individuals can take to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The National Prevention Strategy aims to guide our Nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. The Strategy prioritizes prevention by integrating recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives. HHS, in coordination with the National Prevention Council and a broad range of stakeholders, is implementing key goals of the strategy, which include building healthy and safe community environments; expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings; empowering people to make healthy choices; and eliminating health disparities. Within this framework, the priorities provide evidence-based recommendations that are most likely to reduce the burden of the leading causes of preventable death and major illness. The seven priorities are: tobacco-free living, preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use, healthy eating, active living, injury and violence-free living, reproductive and sexual health, and mental and emotional well-being.
- Working with Global Partners to Address Non-Communicable Diseases
HHS is dedicated to working with its global partners to share evidence-based practices and establish effective methods to reduce non-communicable diseases worldwide, across all populations. HHS efforts to address the leading causes of death, illness and disability include directing research toward non-communicable disease and injury prevention, emphasizing program capacity to address multiple chronic conditions, and promoting the integration of effective public health and trade policies. HHS is also improving policy and programmatic options for reducing risk factors for non-communicable diseases.