Total Wellness Healthcare Clinic
9440 Pennsylvania Avenue
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
What Is Preventive Care and Why Is It Important?
Physicians specifically trained for and skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care provide primary care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern (the “undifferentiated” patient).
Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.
Preventive care includes immunizations, lab tests, screenings and other services intended to prevent illness or detect problems before you notice any symptoms. The right preventive care at the right time can help you stay well and could even save your life. Preventive care differs from diagnostic medical care, which involves treating or diagnosing a problem you're having by monitoring existing problems, checking out new symptoms or following up on abnormal test results.
Americans only use preventive services at about half the recommended rate. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for seven of every 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation's health spending. These chronic diseases can be largely preventable through close partnership with your primary care physician, or can be detected through appropriate screenings, when treatment works best.
Eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco, and receiving preventive services such as cancer screenings, preventive visits and vaccinations are just a few examples of ways people can stay healthy. The right preventive care at every stage of life helps all Americans stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, keep diseases they already have from becoming worse or debilitating, lead productive lives, and reduce costs.
And yet, despite the benefits of many preventive health services, too many Americans go without needed preventive care. Each year, potentially preventable chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, cancer, diabetes) are responsible for millions of premature deaths among Americans. The five leading causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries. Because health problems impact productivity, health problems are a major drain on the economy, resulting in 69 million workers reporting missed days due to illness each year. This loss of productivity reduces economic output by $260 billion per year.
Preventing disease is key to improving America's health and keeping rising health costs under control. When we invest in prevention, the benefits are broadly shared. Children grow up in communities, homes, and families that nurture their healthy development, and adults are productive and healthy, both inside and outside the workplace. Businesses benefit because a healthier workforce reduces long-term health care costs and increases stability and productivity. Furthermore, communities that offer a healthy, productive, stable workforce can be more attractive places for families to live and for businesses to locate.