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January 27, 2009

Contact: Anne Kott, PFCD
(202) 778-6321
Carl Graziano, DMAA
(202) 737-5781

Capitol Hill Briefing to Explore Advances in Chronic Condition Care

Effective Solutions to Battle Chronic Disease Key to Successful Health Care Reform, Experts Say

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A Feb. 4 Capitol Hill briefing on chronic disease prevention and care—the first in a series planned this year as the nation moves toward broad health care reform—will explore effective private- and public-sector strategies to battle chronic conditions, which consume three-quarters of all health care spending nationally.

The briefing, "Advances in Chronic Care Management - What's Working?," is co-hosted by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) and PFCD partner organization DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, an industry trade association for organizations dedicated to chronic disease prevention and management. The briefing will begin at noon, Feb. 4, in the Hart Senate Office Building, room 902.

"Today more than 130 million Americans have at least one chronic disease, including asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that many chronic diseases can be prevented and managed by maintaining a healthful weight, following a health professional’s recommendations and not smoking. We must take these steps as individuals, and also hold our leaders accountable for better collaboration among all sectors of society—workplaces, schools, communities, health systems and Congress," said Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th U.S. Surgeon General (2002-2006), president of Canyon Ranch Institute and national chairperson of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. "Through evidence-based health and wellness approaches that we can all support, we can find solutions now, before we pass the burden of chronic disease and our broken ‘sick care system’ on to our children and grandchildren."

Speakers at the briefing will include:

  • Mary R. Grealy, president, Healthcare Leadership Council
  • John Robitscher, MPH, executive director, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
  • Randall Williams, MD, CEO, Pharos Innovations
  • Richard L. Snyder, MD, senior vice president, health services, Independence Blue Cross

DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead will moderate the discussion.

"As a nation, we can no longer afford patchwork solutions to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions," Moorhead said. "We must make chronic disease care central to reform efforts. President Obama understands this and we stand ready to help his administration and Congress find programs that work, like those we present at this briefing."

Chronic disease is the number one cause of death and disability and the leading reason for rising health care costs in the United States. More than two-thirds of all U.S. deaths are caused by one or more of five chronic conditions: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that chronic disease accounts for about 75 percent of the nation's aggregate health care spending—or about $5,300 per person in the United States annually.

PFCD, with the support of DMAA, Canyon Ranch Institute and more than 100 other national- and state-based partners, has worked since 2007 to raise awareness of the prevalence and cost of chronic disease, particularly on the national stage. DMAA and Canyon Ranch Institute are founding partners and advisory board members of PFCD.

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About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD)
The PFCD is a national and state-based coalition of more than 100 patients, providers, community organizations, business, labor and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of policies and practices that save lives and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of chronic disease. For more information, please visit www.fightchronicdisease.org.

About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the continuum of care for population health improvement, including health and wellness promotion, disease management and care coordination. Through advocacy, research and promotion of best practices, DMAA advances population-based strategies to improve care quality and outcomes and reduce preventable costs for individuals with and at risk of chronic conditions. DMAA represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders, including wellness, disease and care management organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefit managers, health information technology innovators, biotechnology innovators, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, and researchers and academicians. Learn more at www.dmaa.org.

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