Dr. Kenneth Thorpe emphasizes the value and opportunity of diabetes prevention and management in the fight against chronic disease

Click here for information on the Health Affairs briefing and to read the article by Kenneth Thorpe in Health Affairs' January 2012 issue.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 10, 2012) - The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today applauded Health Affairs for taking diabetes head on and for advancing the importance of addressing this costly chronic disease before its consequences erode the overall health of Americans and further challenge our U.S. health care system and budget deficit.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 79 million adults have pre-diabetes. CDC estimates that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Health Affairs’ January 2012 issue and today’s briefing entitled “Confronting The Growing Diabetes Crisis” underscore the critical nature of diabetes prevention and help to promote some of the ideas, programs and policies aimed at more effectively averting, detecting and managing the disease.

Emory University Professor and PFCD Executive Director, Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe’s article entitled “Building A National Diabetes Prevention And Treatment Strategy: Opportunities Provided By The Affordable Care Act” maximizes diabetes control opportunities under the ACA by focusing on three strategies: expanding the diabetes prevention program nationally; building care coordination capability by establishing community health teams; and using the Medicare teams to connect public health, prevention, and treatment. Taking advantage of the opportunities that the Affordable Care Act and the Prevention and Public Health Fund provide can significantly lower health care costs, particularly for Medicare. Programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program can effectively and sustainably encourage lifestyle modifications that prevent diabetes, achieve better health outcomes, and lower costs.

“I am honored to be a part of this influential group and to engage productively to find solutions for the mounting challenges we face with the diabetes epidemic,” said Thorpe. “By dedicating more consideration to the impact that diabetes is having in the U.S., we acknowledge the opportunities that exist to reverse the toll diabetes takes on the overall health of Americans and their wallets. Relatively small investments can result in big savings when it comes to fighting chronic diseases like diabetes.  Taking advantage of existing funding channels to establish evidence-based care coordination models will enable us to evolve from an overly fragmented system to a more efficient and effective system that fosters sustainable and affordable health improvement.”

Health Affairs, the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy, is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published by Project HOPE. For audio and video footage from today’s briefing please visit: http://healthaffairs.org/events.php.

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About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Burke
202-223-9260
pfcd@allisonpr.com