Saturday, July 30, 2011

Second in the Series

The second suggestion on health care reform included in the Commonwealth Fund report to the National Governors Association, as reported by former Vermont governor James Douglas in the May 23 issue of Modern Healthcare, was as follows:

“Care coordination and disease management. Chronic illnesses account for the overwhelming majority of health care costs. Those with a chronic disease must be identified and treated. Diabetes is the first chronic condition that some states have addressed, as there’s a real opportunity for successful intervention and cost savings.”

All true, but identifying and treating chronic diseases is done by providers, not by states, and the question is: if they are not doing it satisfactorily now, what will it take to get them to?

So far, nobody wants to talk about that. Until that changes, progress will be slow.

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