Study suggests millions of savings from mobile health clinic

A Harvard Medical School mobile health clinic that provides free preventive health care and counseling to low-income residents throughout Boston saved about $3.1 million last year in avoided ED visits and appeared to generate roughly $20 million in total annual savings when researchers accounted for added “life years” stemming from the intervention, according to estimates published in BMC Medicine.


According to the article, researchers used 2005 state data on the cost-savings of preventing avoidable ED visits and information from the National Commission on Prevention Priorities—which assigns values to a range of preventive services—and developed an algorithm that calculates a return-on-investment ratio to quantify the value of mobile health care to a system.


(SOURCES: Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, June 4, 2009; Biomedcentral,, [Authors Nancy E Oriol , Paul J Cote , Anthony P Vavasis , Jennifer Bennet , Darien DeLorenzo , Phillip Blanc and Isaac Kohane, BMC Medicine 2009, 7:27doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-27 Published: 2 June 2009], accessed June 8, 2009)