As Congress and President Obama’s administration work to hammer out the details of health care reform, Emory health policy expert Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD, says prevention and quality care for chronic diseases are an integral part of reshaping America’s health care system.
Nearly half of people in the United States suffer from a chronic condition. More than two-thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes.
Thorpe says transforming the U.S. health care system to better meet the needs of people with chronic disease will require a renewed focus on preventing disease when possible, identifying it early when it occurs, and implementing evidence-based prevention strategies that slow disease progression and the onset of activity limitations, as well as save money for the patient and the health care system.
By preventing costly diseases or better managing them, Thorpe says we can help contain our out-of-control health spending and boost productivity. In our troubled economy, we need to do both.
Read more about Thorpe at Rollins School of Public Health, Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions/Center for Entitlement Reform, and theÂ Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.