Today, First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will join doctors, nurses, families, and leaders from the health community to make an announcement regarding new preventive health care coverage made available under the Affordable Care Act at George Washington University Hospital. High-quality preventive care helps Americans stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives and help reduce costs. Through the provisions of the Act, new insurance plans are required to provide preventive care without cost-sharing, which will remove financial barriers for many Americans to preventive services, help prevent disease, and reduce costs.
In addition, insurers may provide other preventive services, such as screening and brief intervention (SBI) for substance abuse, which has been shown to significantly reduce substance abuse, improve health for patients, and reduce health care costs of approximately $62-$100 billion annually. Screening for prescription drug abuse helps doctors better diagnose and treat patients and prevent doctors from providing prescriptions for medications that might have adverse reactions with illegal prescription drugs being abused.