The specifics of Barack Obama's 4-year goals for health care is one of those "dreams" that politicians often flash about to make people think for a moment, "It just could happen." According to Star-Telegram reporter, "STEVE JACOB, "He bundles three evergreen feel-good concepts — electronic medical records (EMR), disease prevention and chronic-disease management — and totes up dubious savings to fund his ultimate goal of making health insurance affordable to everyone."
Though I doubt that his goals are do-able, especially in 4 years, it's nice to see that chronic illness management has a place in healthcare reform and that it's a waste of time and money for those with chronic conditions to have to go through their primary care physican every time they wish to see a specialist.
Thought some of you may be interested in this information and statistics below... (excpet the one about how many people die from a chronic illness. That may not be the most cheery thing to hear.. Keep in mind we are all gonna die, and better some day from an illness than from a piano falling on you.)
This is reprinted from the Star-Telegram.com
Chronic-disease management would seem to be the most promising area of all for expense management. Treatment of chronic illness suffered by about 133 million Americans accounts for 75 percent of the $2 trillion spent on healthcare every year.
Chronic illness, which causes about 70 percent of U.S. deaths, includes arthritis, asthma, cancer, heart disease, depression and diabetes. It makes less sense to treat chronic illness in the office of a primary-care physician who is trained to treat many patients with a variety of illnesses in quick succession.
A chronic-disease patient requires a more detailed case-management approach than a family physician can provide, focusing on prevention of exacerbation of the condition, consistent monitoring and accountability for following guidelines.
The Permanente Medical Group in Northern California did just that for six years. The results: substantial quality-of-care improvement — and no cost savings. Two other factors conspire against chronic-disease management savings.
A study just published in the Annals on Internal Medicine points out that an estimated 1 in 3 working-age adults without insurance has a chronic condition for which they are inadequately treated. If access to healthcare is broadened in the next administration, count on the chronic-illness bill to grow substantially.