Clinical Preventive Services

The Policy Problem

A significant fraction of the burden of illness can be averted through primary prevention services aimed at preventing the onset of disease or disability (e.g., immunizations) or secondary prevention services to identify and detect disease in its earliest stages, before noticeable (e.g., cancer screening).

Policy Options

Clinical preventive services include primary and secondary preventive services in apparently healthy persons. Such services may be provided by doctors, nurses and other health practitioners; they include screening tests, counseling, immunizations, and preventive medications. While what is appropriate depends on age, sex, and risk factors for disease.  USPSTF recommendations cover 30 different preventive services, a list that grows each year with advances in medicine and/or evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of such services.

Policy Recommendations

Policy Considerations


  • Partnership for Prevention. Preventive Services: Helping Employers Expand Coverage. Partnership conducted a national survey to determine the extent that employers nationwide cover recommended clinical preventive services. Results have been published in the American Journal of Health Promotion 20(3):214-22. Click here to view the abstract.
  • Partnership for Prevention. Why Invest? Recommendations for Improving Your Prevention Investment. A report offering an overview of the results of a national survey determining employer coverage for clinical preventive services, and comparing the results to key findings from Partnership’s most recent analysis of services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).


  • USPSTF. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), first convened by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984, and since 1998 sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the “gold standard” for clinical preventive services.
  • USPSTF. Sign Up for Preventive Services E-mail Updates.
  • USPSTF. Dissemination and Implementation: Put Prevention Into Practice (PPIP). Improving the delivery of appropriate clinical preventive services with tools and resources to support health care organizations and engage the entire health care delivery system. Includes links to Tools & Resources, Partnerships, and PPIP Case Studies.
  • USPSTF. Preventive Services Resource Links.

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