We present a high-level framework to show the process by which an investment in primary prevention produces value. We define primary prevention broadly to include investments in any of the determinants of health.
Although it builds on previously developed frameworks, ours incorporates several additional features. It distinguishes direct and upstream determinants of health, a distinction that can help identify, describe, and track the impact of a policy or program on health and health care costs.
It recognizes multiple dimensions of value, including the need to establish the nonhealth value of investments whose objectives are not limited to improvements in health (and whose costs should not be attributed solely to the health benefits).
Finally, it emphasizes the need to describe value from the perspectives of the multiple stakeholders that can influence such investments.