There has been a tremendous increase in chronic disease in the United States over the past decade, resulting in an enormous increase in the cost of care for all Americans, as well as increased barriers to appropriate care for many patients in health insurance coverage.
The Chronic Care Policy Alliance supports:
- Appropriate mandatory training for K-12 and college level students, as well as in adult level community education programs regarding this phenomenon that focuses on, at a minimum:
- The dangers of tobacco use
- Basic lifesaving and CPR protocols
- Proper nutrition and the effects on the human body, including the need for appropriate clarity in food labeling to provide consumers with better choices
- The dangers of addictive medications and appropriate management of pain medication
- Sports and active lifestyle related injuries and safety protocols
- Women’s health and healthy children
- The dangers and complications related to chronic disease, including Heart Health, Stroke Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mental Illness, Behavioral Health, Lupus, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Chronic Pain challenges at a minimum. This education should also focus on the need for appropriate protocols and safety measures needed by patients afflicted by chronic disease and healthy lifestyles as a mechanism to avoid or lessen the effects of chronic disease.
- Appropriate incentives for healthy lifestyles should be provided by health insurance plans to members who strive to improve their physical condition through proper nutrition, physical activity and avoidance of dangerous and addictive substances.
- Health screenings should be readily available and accessible for all patients who may suffer from chronic disease, most particularly the most vulnerable, high risk patients and those who are medically underserved.
- Public, private and community partnerships should work together to promote wellness and chronic disease prevention, utilizing early intervention tools and management models incorporated throughout private and public healthcare systems. Evaluation, education and coordination for the management of chronic conditions should be included in all prevention and wellness programs.
- Public, private and community partnerships should work together to promote a culture of health care productivity through the use of multi-disciplinary, primary care medical home models, comprehensive medication therapy management, and patient-centered access to all three levels of prevention (primary, secondary, tertiary).
- Public, private and community partnerships should work to promote healthy lifestyles in workplaces, schools and communities by establishing a collaborative between business; health plans, faith-based, not-for-profit health organizations; consumer groups; education, including school health centers, government and other community entities to sustain positive changes in health behaviors.