PFCD Commends Health Affairs for Confronting Costly Chronic Diseases

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2011)- The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today commended Health Affairs for its recognition of chronic disease and promotion of constructive policies and programs aimed at lowering health care costs. Health Affairs’ September 2011 issue, “The New Urgency To Lower Costs”, features content on chronic disease prevalence, prevention opportunities, and cost-cutting approaches. PFCD Executive Director, Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe’s article entitled “Enrolling People With Prediabetes Ages 60-64 In A Proven Weight Loss Program Could Yield $7 Billion Or More In Medicare Savings” focuses on strategies to cut costs, particularly among Medicare beneficiaries, with programs like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, that are designed to encourage sustainable lifestyle modifications that support prevention and better overall health and wellness.

“Despite the fact that much of the growth in health care spending is due to rising prevalence of chronic disease, many of the current approaches aimed at reducing spending do not address the causes of chronic diseases or pay enough attention to the ‘hot spots’ that consume the bulk of health care dollars,” suggested Dr. Thorpe. “In order to improve our country’s bottom line it is essential that federal, state and community leaders come together to develop and support programs and policies that can effectively make a difference in the fight against chronic disease.”

More than $2.5 trillion is spent annually on health care in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that to date in 2011, approximately 1,158,725 people have died from chronic disease. Chronic disease costs consume 75 cents of every health care dollar spent, and that increases to 90 cents in the Medicare and Medicaid population. By advancing the dialogue about chronic disease and its costly consequences, PFCD is working to address and reverse both of these increasing burdens on the U.S. health care system.

“Relatively small investments can result in big savings when it comes to chronic disease management programs. By adopting and implementing successful evidence-based programs, in particular for dually eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries and in traditional fee-for-service Medicare, it is estimated that up to $300 billion in savings could be realized over the next ten years,” concluded Thorpe.

Health Affairs,the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy, is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published by Project HOPE. In conjunction with the release of this month’s issue, Health Affairs held a briefing to convene health care stakeholders and further discuss the content and ideas covered by several of the September authors. 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

202-518-6494

pfcd@allisonpr.com