Economic Impacts of Winnable Battle Strategies

Identifying and understanding the economic impact of proven prevention strategies and policies is one way CDC measures and tracks progress.

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  • CDC has provided the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with technical assistance in proposing and planning to implement a smoke-free policy in public housing. Once final, the rule would cover more than 700,000 units, protecting residents from exposure to secondhand smoke. A CDC study found that prohibiting smoking in public housing would yield annual cost savings of $153 million from averted secondhand smoke-related care, renovation expenses, and smoking-attributable fire losses.
  • The multi-year campaign “Tips from Former Smokers” which reignited national awareness of the health consequences of tobacco use inspired greater call volume to 1-800-QUIT-NOW than ever before. The TIPS campaign has proven to be a “best buy” in public health by costing just $393 to save a year of life, well under the widely accepted limit for the cost-effectiveness of a public health program of $50,000 per year of life saved. Between 2012 and 2015, Tips has helped at least 400,000 smokers quit for good and remains effective over time.
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Food Safety

  • Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Medical and industry costs of these illnesses exceed $15.5 billion. CDC estimates that reducing foodborne infections by just 10 percent would keep approximately 5 million Americans from getting sick each year.
  • An analysis published in 2016 found that PulseNet, the national laboratory network that detects foodborne disease outbreaks, prevents an estimated 270,000 illnesses every year from the three most common causes of foodborne illness: Salmonella, E. coli O157 and Listeria monocytogenes. As a result, an estimated $507 million is saved every year in medical costs and lost productivity.
  • Illustrating the return on investment in food safety programs, CDC estimates prevention of a single fatal case of E. coli O157 infection saves $7 million. In addition, an analysis concluded that the Colorado PulseNet system would recover all its costs if it averted as few as five cases of E. coli O157 infection annually.
  • Kitchen manager certification is consistently linked to improved food safety in restaurants. Restaurants with certified kitchen managers are less likely to have foodborne illness outbreaks, have better food safety policies and score better with fewer critical violations on inspections.
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Healthcare-associated Infections

  • In 2009 alone, an estimated 25,000 fewer CLABSIs occurred in U.S. ICUs than in 2001, a 58% reduction. This represents up to 6,000 lives saved and $414 million in potential excess health-care costs in 2009 and approximately $1.8 billion in cumulative excess health-care costs since 2001. A substantial number of CLABSIs continue to occur, especially in outpatient hemodialysis centers and inpatient wards.
  • CDC-designed nationwide REDUCE MRSA Trial demonstrated that one strategy reduced bloodstream infections by up to 44% and significantly reduced the presence of MRSA and other pathogens in ICUs. Now, these infection prevention strategies are adopted as best practices in healthcare settings across the nation.
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Teen Pregnancy

  • Teen childbearing costs U.S. taxpayers $9.4 billion annually. Use of effective contraception such as long acting reversible contraception (LARC) was found to be a primary determinant of declines in teen pregnancy. The LARC costing tool allows providers to examine the “business case” for providing LARC on-site. It assesses whether costs associated with providing LARC will be covered, if it is profitable, or if losses are projected through activities associated with billing third-party payers for LARC services. Information can help health care providers in negotiations with third-party payers, particularly those with plans for which the costs of providing LARC are higher than the reimbursements received.
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Motor Vehicle Injuries

  • CDC released an interactive calculator, called MV PICCS (Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States). This tool helps state decision makers prioritize and select from a suite of 14 effective motor vehicle injury prevention interventions. It is designed to calculate the expected number of injuries prevented and lives saved at the state level based on intervention(s) selected, as well as the costs of implementation, while taking into account the state’s available resources.
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HIV in the United States

  • PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is daily medicine that can reduce the chance of getting HIV. It can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%.
Page last reviewed: December 14, 2017