Preventive medical services encompass a wide range of interventions, including vaccinations that prevent diseases from occurring and screening tests designed to detect the presence of a disease before symptoms appear. Delivering preventive medical services results in costs for each person using the service. Vaccinations may cause some of those people to avoid the targeted disease, and screenings may allow some people to receive treatment earlier. Those people generally benefit from preventive medical services, but the net result can be decreases or increases in overall health care spending.
In this presentation, CBO’s Director provides an overview of the agency’s methods for estimating the budgetary effects of proposals to expand the use of preventive medical services.