Report: Healthcare reform includes chronic disease management, payment reform

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Some of the key components of healthcare reform include chronic condition management and prevention, increased care-coordination efforts, and payment reforms, according to a report released Tuesday. All these improvements could help give providers more control over the care they deliver.

Roughly nine out of 10 seniors have at least one chronic condition and as many as 77% have two or more and, according to the report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Meanwhile, nearly 20% of all Medicare beneficiaries have five or more chronic conditions. This last cohort of seniors averages 40 visits to 14 different physicians, who issue as many as 50 different prescriptions every year, and constitute a full two-thirds of Medicare spending, according to the report. Management of these conditions is still scattered across the care spectrum.

Delivery system and payment reforms could help spark a more integrated delivery system, which in turn would promote a team approach to chronic conditions. Added emphasis on prevention and wellness could bolster public health services and lessen the burden of chronic care management across a newly coordinated care spectrum, the report suggests. The report, "Health Reform: Delivering for Those Who Deliver Care," can be found online at http://www.americanprogressaction.org.