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The Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care

Chronic Care Facts

The Chronic Disease Problem: increasing frequency & cost
More than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic health condition; 60 million have more than one.  These patients, many of them elderly, are often less healthy, confused by their treatments and medications, and overwhelmed by paperwork and insurance requirements.  As the baby boomers age, this problem will multiply.  By the year 2025, more than 25% of the population will be living with multiple chronic conditions, and the cost for managing their care is expected to reach $1.07 trillion.
Chronic Conditions by Gerard Anderson
Expert Voices, NIHCM Foundation, January 2002

Treatment for chronic conditions is fragmented, which limits effectiveness
“Many people with chronic health problems see as many as eight different doctors in a year, but most health care information systems do not allow doctors to know what care others are providing for their patients. Some care is deemed a "medical expense" while other services, like home nursing care, may be considered a "social expense" and may not be covered or will be covered under a different program with different rules. In other cases with an injury, long-term care may only be offered for a limited time, even when some individuals may need longer treatment.”
Changing the Chronic Care System to Meet People’s Needs
Gerard Anderson, James R. Knickman
Health Affairs, November/December 2001

Chronic conditions can be reduced by closer management of common risk factors
“Much of the growth in health care spending over the past twenty years is linked to modifiable population risk factors such as obesity and stress. Rising disease prevalence and new medical treatments account for nearly two-thirds of the rise in spending. To be effective, reforms should focus on health promotion, public health interventions, and the cost-effective use of medical care.”
The Rise In Health Care Spending And What To Do About It
Kenneth E. Thorpe
Health Affairs November/December 2005

Chronic Disease Legislation

Medicare Medical Home Demonstration Project
The 109th Congress passed and the President signed into law H.R. 6111, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which authorizes a Medicare Medical Home Demonstration (MMHD) project to redesign the health care delivery system to provide targeted, accessible, continuous and coordinated, family-centered care to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.  The legislation will allow practices that qualify as medical homes to receive care coordination fees and to share in the savings from reduced hospital admissions.  CMS estimates that the MMHD will begin in 2009.  To view the legislation, click here.

Geriatric Assessment & Chronic Care Coordination Act of 2007
In the 110th Congress, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) introduced S. 1340 and Representative Gene Green (D-TX) introduced H.R. 2244, both titled the Geriatric Assessment and Chronic Care Coordination Act of 2007, which authorizes a new Medicare benefit for geriatric assessments of patients with multiple chronic diseases and/or dementia, and payment of a care coordination fee to physicians who accept responsibility for such patients.  The legislation has been referred to the appropriate committees with jurisdiction over Medicare.