Amended Chairman's Mark Sets Stage for "Hitting 'Bulls-eye' in Health Reform"
Analysis of Health Reform Legislation Shows Shift Towards Health, Wellness; "A la Carte" Approach Could Limit Impact, Expert Cautions
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today released an updated comparison of chronic care provisions contained within health reform legislation to reflect the amended Senate Finance Committee proposal. The amended "Chairman's Mark" includes numerous provisions to prevent and manage chronic disease, the top cost driver in health care, as do the two other major pieces of health reform legislation under consideration in Congress.
"For the first time in a national debate on health care, preventing and managing chronic disease is being recognized as a health reform priority that holds the key to helping improve health and reduce costs over the long-term," said Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., PFCD Executive Director. "And, I think the legislation coming out of the Finance Committee is a great example of the type of comprehensive change needed to set the stage for Congress to hit the 'bulls-eye' in health reform this year."
"I'm also encouraged that the Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate of the bill shows that we can improve quality and expand coverage and while still achieving cost-savings," Thorpe added, noting that the amended Chairman's Mark invests nearly $5 billion in prevention initiatives to reduce rates of common and costly chronic illnesses, in addition to funding a new prevention and wellness trust fund.
"However, as legislation moves forward, we need to remain cognizant of the importance of taking a holistic, as opposed to an 'a la carte,' approach to delivery system reforms. Well-coordinated, comprehensive changes are required to improve prevention, disease management, coordination of care, and care transitions or else we won't be able to effectively control costs - especially in Medicare."
PFCD's newly-released legislative comparison, "Hitting the 'Bulls-eye' in Health Reform: Controlling Chronic Disease to Reduce Cost and Improve Quality," which is available on the PFCD Web site, summarizes the unprecedented variety of reform initiatives aimed to improving chronic disease prevention and management. It also compares the various bills on PFCD's five policy priorities, "Ideas for Change," which state that meaningful health reform must:
Advance sustainable "next generation" chronic disease prevention, early intervention, and management models throughout the health care system and public health infrastructure
Promote healthy lifestyles and disease prevention and management in every community
Encourage and reward continuous advances in clinical practice and research that improve the quality of care for those with costly chronic diseases
Accelerate improvements in the quality and availability of health information technology (HIT) throughout the health care system
Reduce health disparities by focusing on barriers to good health
About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:
The PFCD is a national coalition of more than 120 patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: poorly prevented and mismanaged chronic disease. For more information about the PFCD and its partners, please visit: www.fightchronicdisease.org