Data on costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention, including expenditures for veterinary services, were collected from 57 California beef cow-calf herds during 1988-1989 as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System. Mean cost associated with episodes of disease was $33.90/cow-year, with $0.78 and $1.37/cow-year being spent for veterinary services and drugs, respectively. The highest cost for veterinary services related to episodes of disease were for dystocia, lameness, and ocular carcinoma. For disease prevention, mean expenditures for veterinary services were $1.67/cow-year, nearly all of which was spent on prevention of reproductive tract conditions. Preventive expenditures for veterinary services related to female infertility (pregnancy examination), vaccination against brucellosis and male infertility (breeding soundness examination) were $0.72, $0.39, and $0.22/cow-year, respectively. Many costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention were similar to those reported from Colorado National Animal Health Monitoring System beef herds.