Ken Thorpe's blog

PPACA Generates Savings in Medicare

The Obama Administration released a report Monday, showing significant savings in Medicare due to  PPACA reforms. The report shows Medicare will save approximately $8 billion by the end of next year, and as much as $575 billion over the rest of the decade. These are significant savings and evidence that PPACA is a strong foundation on which to build more quality and cost-savings measures into our current health care system.

We can build on this foundation through increased care coordination and chronic disease prevention efforts.

Obesity, Tobacco Prevention Needed

A recent New York Times article, “Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies,” included my thoughts on tobacco cessation and obesity prevention and I would like to expand on those thoughts for a moment.

Tobacco use and obesity are both public health threats that drive up health care spending in the US. Reducing tobacco use and obesity prevalence are both key to lowering health costs and saving lives.

Fortunately tobacco rates have been decreasing over the past several decades.

Congressional Recess is Just Around the Corner

Yesterday marked the start of the final two weeks before the 2010 August Congressional recess begins. With all the legislative activity thus far this year, it’s hard to believe August is just around the corner and election season is fast approaching. I applaud Congress and the Obama Administration for their strong implementation efforts and wish them a restful recess in their home states.

While things will slow down a bit in Washington over the next month, I hope the nation continues talking about the implementation process and health care reform.

Workplace Wellness Done Right

There’s been a lot of coverage recently on preventive coverage. But a New York Times article today, “For Chronic Care, Your Employer May Be Able to Help,” looks at a different kind of preventive care: workplace wellness programs. The article discusses workplace wellness and the strengths and weaknesses of various programs.

Chronic disease knows no age, cost boundaries

High cholesterol – for adults, typically a gateway condition to chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension – is now affecting Americans at even younger ages. According to new data from the CDC, up to one quarter of young adults (men aged 20 to 35 years; women aged 20 to 45 years) in the U.S.

Open Comment Period: Prevention in Medicare

CMS is accepting comments until August 24th on a proposed rule on implementation of new Medicare preventive health benefits. Trust for America’s Health has posted the CMS announcement here: http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/CMS_Fact_Sheet.pdf.

Instructions on how to submit comments are also on the TFAH Web site: http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/CMS_Fee.pdf

CDC Calls for Increased Prevention Efforts

It’s been a big week for prevention.

Health Care Reform and Chronic Disease: What Now?

On July 13th I moderated a PFCD event, “Health Care Reform and Chronic Disease: What Now?” Our panel and audience had a lively discussion about the future of health care reform and implementation and what role the PFCD and other organizations could play during this complicated process that’s really uncharted territory.

My opening remarks covered a lot of territory, but I mentioned three opportunities for building on the PPACA by improving

HHS, White House Incentivizing Prevention

I want to applaud HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr.

Prevention Update

We experienced a great deal of support for prevention and wellness efforts this week.

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