December 14, 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions (Plan), a plan aimed at improving the overall health status of individuals with multiple chronic conditions.  CMS marked the anniversary by touting what it views as early successes of the program.

One in four Americans – and two out of three over 65 – have multiple chronic conditions. According to a new report issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), care for its beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions accounts for 93 percent of Medicare expenditures.

In the Plan, HHS identified more than 100 programs, activities and initiatives that focus on improving the health of those with multiple chronic conditions by integrating strategies to care for some of our sickest patients in hopes of improving health outcomes, lowering costs and maximizing quality of life.

In addition to the new CMS data on numbers of Original Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, HHS also reported in its Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries report that Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions are more likely to be hospitalized and are the biggest users of other high-cost health care services.

The information in the report is based on the roughly 65 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who were enrolled in the Original Medicare Fee-for-Service program for the entire year, and does not include beneficiaries who have a private Medicare plan. 

CMS is touting success from various programs including in the Plan at the close of its first year of operation.  CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner says its Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries report will be an important resource for CMS, its partners, and providers, to help make more informed decisions about how to best treat patients with chronic conditions.”

 For more information about the HHS Strategy on Multiple Chronic Conditions and the Inventory of HHS Programs, Activities and Initiatives, go to: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/mcc/

Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources

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©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

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