A project of the George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

HHS issues Multiple Chronic Conditions framework

Posted on December 14, 2010 | Comment (1)

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The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions. Produced by HHS with input from private and public stakeholders, the new framework hopes to “reduce the risks of complications and improve the overall health status of individuals with multiple chronic conditions by fostering change within the system; providing more information and better tools to help health professionals ― as well as patients ― learn how to better coordinate and manage care; and by facilitating research to improve oversight and care.”

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  • Dr. Tom McKay RN says:

    Without question research is urgently needed however, DOl and other grant making agencies would do well to update their thinking anf lanaguage when publishing workforce development grant requests. To date too few organizational grants reflect the need for an advanced skill set that will support the management of patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions (MCC). As we know physicians are over burdened and perhaps ill prepared to manage the care of MCC patients. Office staff will need to adopt a new care management paradigm and at this point desperately need to be reducated to enable that change. All federal grant making agencies that are invovled must reengineer their grant langauge to enable educational changes.

A new working paper from Truven Healthcare’s Teresa Gibson, Harvard’s Michael Chernew and the University of Michigan’s A. Mark Fendrick released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finds that as health insurance co-payments increase, worker productivity drops. This decrease in productivity is likely to related to employees forgoing medical care. The paper focuses on employees with chronic pain like arthritis. The authors examined how much employees had to pay for prescription medication under their diverse benefit plans. Past research has found that as the cost of health care services increases, usage decreases. The paper found that employees suffering from chronic pain averaged 76.7 hours absent from work. With every $5 increase in cost-sharing for pain medications, they saw an increase in absenteeism somewhere between 1.3 to 3.1 percent. Although the percentage appears small, the consequences could be significant, and enough to offset any savings derived from hiking up premiums.