Healthcare Topic: Chronic Disease

Wednesday, May 5, 2009
Last May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution naming May “National Bicycle Month,” giving federal recognition to our most efficient form of transportation. Several months later, the Bicycle Commuter Act was signed into law, enabling bicycle commuters to receive tax-free benefits for their unique contributions reducing traffic congestion and air pollution while improving their own health.
Monday, January 1, 2010
We all recognize the signs of a livable community: people biking and kids walking safely around their neighborhoods. These are important forms of commuting that also contribute to a community’s vitality. This is especially true for children, who should be able to securely walk and bike to their most important destinations: schools, parks, and their friends’ homes.
Tuesday, June 6, 2010
Transitions are one of the weak points in the U.S. health care system. Poor coordination and inadequate communication around transitions is particularly pronounced in the care of frail elderly people with multiple chronic diseases—or maybe an acute illness or injury on top of a whole big bunch of chronic diseases.
Monday, July 7, 2010
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, state, tribal, and local governmental agencies and community-based organizations now have the opportunity to transform their communities into places that offer healthy choices to all residents.
Tuesday, October 10, 2010
Better Health, which began in February 2007, involves more than 20 stakeholders including health systems, hospitals, payors, and state and local government. More than 45 participating physician practices—most of which have electronic health records that allow tracking and measurement—take part in learning collaboratives
Tuesday, December 12, 2010
Some research has established that medications can be cut in nursing home patients with good outcomes. But in the community, where there is often no single doctor keeping track of all the patients’ medicines, it can be challenging.
Thursday, January 1, 2011
Play has been receiving some long-overdue attention in recent months. Major media are abuzz discussing the benefits of play, the consequences of its removal, and how parents and communities can work to actively restore play for their children.
Tuesday, March 3, 2011
Some health experts are now worrying that our infatuation with statins may be spiraling out of control. Not only do many doctors question whether statins should ever be used to prevent heart disease, but some are dubious that these medications have ever been the miracle drugs they are advertised to be.
Thursday, April 4, 2011
A major challenge of the current system of care for adults with functional limitations is the inability of middle-income individuals to protect themselves against the financial risk of needing and accessing available supports and services to help them remain in their homes and communities. Over 10 million Americans need supports and services today due to disabling conditions, and this figure will likely grow due to population aging. In 2008, the cost of this care totaled $264 billion, comprising public, private, and in-kind expenditures.
Thursday, April 4, 2011
Palliative care is the thorough assessment and treatment of symptoms, attention to the whole person and support for the entire journey we each will face at the end of life. We know palliative care helps. Let's make it standard care.
Thursday, April 4, 2011
PCMH models are new, diverse, dynamic, and evolving. We need to understand them, work with them, and design them from blueprints that meet patients’ needs.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Millions of baby boomers and other Americans have hepatitis B or C and do not know it. In fact, nearly two percent of the U.S. population may have some form of the disease – and approximately five million individuals will develop a chronic form of the diseases. Yet, startlingly, many of them will not even realize they have a hepatitis infection for decades.
Tuesday, June 6, 2011
What if a high-risk, chronically ill elderly patient that was admitted to the hospital had an advanced practice nurse (APN) caring for him (or her) from the get-go? And that nurse enhanced health care team communication and prevented functional decline?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Glen Campbell’s decision to put a face on Alzheimer's by continuing to tour is a mark of real courage and heart. Not many celebrities let us come so close.
Tuesday, August 8, 2011
Hospital readmissions in the HeartLink group versus regular care are lower. And when they do get readmitted … they aren’t as sick, and don’t stay in the hospital as long.
Thursday, August 8, 2011
The cornerstone of a more effective and efficient system of care is to engage people in making decisions about their life and health in a way that upholds their dignity, independence, and right to self determination. Unfortunately, when it comes to serving older Americans who face advanced illness, this concept is contrary to the way most health care is actually delivered.
Thursday, August 8, 2011
While hospice provides a good model of care for the cancer patients it was originally designed to serve, it does not deliver efficiently or comprehensively what the majority of us will need.
Friday, September 9, 2011
While hospice provides a good model of care for the cancer patients it was originally designed to serve, it does not deliver efficiently or comprehensively what the majority of us will need.
Tuesday, October 10, 2011
A look at at three research projects aimed at developing something that may work—something that may improve end of life care for both the patient and the family.
Thursday, October 10, 2011
So many fundamental activities crucial to our daily lives can be measured with certainty and confidence, but not so in health care—and certainly not when it comes to aging and long-term services and supports.
Thursday, October 10, 2011
Carefully done research on small numbers in a few settings will not be enough to guide practical implementation of process redesign.
Tuesday, November 11, 2011
Preventing disease is one of the most common sense ways to improve health in America. But it is also a major factor for improving the economy.
Tuesday, December 12, 2011
Dealing with the hard stuff – the very sick, the complex, the dying – is the essence of quality health care in an aging society.
Thursday, December 12, 2011
High-quality, cost-effective health care delivery is all about targeting: the right care, by the right provider, at the right time, in the right place, and for the right cost. It sounds straightforward, almost easy. The challenge to getting it right is understanding the range of variables in a person’s life that drive health care use and costs.
Thursday, December 12, 2011
While there is certainly evidence that cost influences a person’s likelihood of refilling medications, price is only one of many factors. It’s not a single conscious choice between taking a pill or not; it is ongoing management of a complex array of daily and weekly activities.
Tuesday, January 1, 2012

Our health care system ably treats sudden threats to life, prevents many illnesses and cures much of what ails us. But it cannot reliably and efficiently support us when we face serious chronic illness and disability—a predictable part of the end of life. As a result, instead of living meaningfully and comfortably, we will experience fear: constant anxiety over unreliability and gaps between silos of service; high cost from waste and mismatching of needs with services; and widespread dishonesty, sugarcoating what we face.

Thursday, January 1, 2012
Due to the rapid increase in prescription drug abuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain medications obtained them from friends or relatives, while approximately 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet.
Tuesday, February 2, 2012

Obesity is a rapidly growing concern in the United States—no pun intended. In 2010, about one-third (33.8 percent) of adults in the U.S., and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents were considered obese. The government estimates that 30 percent of the Medicare population is obese.

Thursday, March 3, 2012
The world’s largest—and most important—conference for bringing together service providers, advocates, policymakers and scientific and social science researchers to learn about and share advances in prevention, treatment, care and policy for an epidemic that counts 34 million living with HIV/AIDS worldwide takes place in Washington, D.C., from July 22 - 27. However, not everyone who could benefit from this conference will be able to enter the U.S. to attend, and it's worrisome that many people here in the U.S. who most need to hear its messages might not pay attention.
Thursday, April 4, 2012

It’s been in the news and at the forefront of public health policy debates—childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years and now represents one of the leading public health threats for our nation. (1) According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. (2) These numbers are alarming because obesity is associated with a number of significant health consequences, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, as well as psychosocial and emotional consequences.

Tuesday, April 4, 2012

Your health shouldn’t be determined by where you live, but two new reports show that where you live, learn, work and play have a major impact on how healthy you are and how long you live. Disease rates and factors that influence health vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood and region to region—and funding for public health and disease prevention programs also vary significantly from community to community and state to state.

Tuesday, April 4, 2012

The goal of a more effective and efficient system of care is straightforward—better care at lower costs. The path to that goal has proven far more elusive. To meet these aims, we must focus on those who really need the system to perform better—people with advanced illness and functional limitation. We must speak with them on their terms and build plans of care that appreciate them as people, not just as patients.

Thursday, April 4, 2012
Decent Care Values is an innovative, values-based model supporting transformation of health care at three levels: individual, social and systemic.
Tuesday, May 5, 2012
Today, more Americans are dying from viral hepatitis than HIV/AIDS.