How we calculated the benefits of each service:

The most recent version of our Technical Report, which details these changes, can be downloaded here.

Estimating the benefit to the U.S. Population:

To estimate the potential gain in life expectancy through more rational prioritization of preventive health services, we used data from the clinician calculator, estimates of time requirements for each service, and current utilization rates to reallocate patient time according to the equimarginal method. For each age and sex, we calculated the average time spent receiving preventive health services, then allocated that time in order of decreasing benefit per minute. We have not considered constraints other than clinician time, such as cost or facility scheduling, nor have we reallocated time across ages or sexes. There are limitations to our modeling data as well, described in the explication section and technical report. Included in this analysis were aspirin chemoprophylaxis, smoking cessation advice, hypertension screening, cholesterol screening, alcohol screening and counseling, colorectal cancer screening, influenza immunization, cervical cancer screening, breast cancer screening, pneumococcal vaccination, calcium supplementation, and obesity screening.

To provide context, we've compared the results with selected countries. While rational prioritization alone is unlikely to increase U.S. longevity to that of leading countries, it offers the promise of several additional months of life, while using methods that physicians could adopt immediately.

A summary of these findings can be downloaded here as a PDF.

Recent changes:

July 14, 2010:
Uploaded version 5 of our Technical Report. This was last edited in December 2008, and explains the calculation of extension of life for each of the preventive services included. It can be downloaded here.

March 31, 2009:
Added an overview and summary of the benefit to the U.S. population achievable through more rational prioritization.

February 24, 2009:
Updated values and bug fixes. Clinician and Individual calculators now run on the same engine as the "Home" calculator. Explication information, though, is not yet clinician-specific.

February 11, 2009:
First version of this calculator based on the Prototype framework. This update supersedes all previous versions, but the "Clinician" and "Individual" calculators still have a few bugs. Fixes to come.