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May 14, 2009

Contact: Carl Graziano
Vice President, Strategic Communications
(202) 737-5781

DMAA Supports 2009 Almanac of Chronic Disease, Participates in Document's Release with Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

WASHINGTON—Rising health care costs, driven by an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, threaten the country's place as an economic leader, Tracey Moorhead, president and CEO of DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, says in the 2009 Almanac of Chronic Disease.

The second annual Almanac, released today by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), with DMAA sponsorship, outlines the critical role preventing and reducing chronic conditions has on health care and economic reform efforts, and ultimately the nation's global competitiveness and economic growth.

"The PFCD Almanac provides an invaluable perspective on the challenges ahead for health care and reform efforts," Moorhead says. "True system reform and a national commitment to prevention and chronic condition management are two sides of the same coin. We simply cannot do one without doing the other."

The 2009 Almanac reports that:

  • During 2007, the United States spent an estimated $1.7 trillion treating patients with one or more chronic conditions—that's the equivalent of 34 million salaries of $50,000.
  • Since the mid-1980s, about two-thirds of the increase in spending on health care in the United States is linked to the rise in the prevalence of treated chronic diseases; about one-third is linked to the doubling of obesity rates.
  • Chronic disease and treatment rates are higher in the United States than in other industrialized nations, and might add as much as $100 billion to $150 billion in treatment costs to U.S. health spending.

In the Almanac, Moorhead emphasizes the economic imperative of controlling chronic disease and points to well-documented clinical and financial outcomes of state Medicaid programs to improve population health. "Reform efforts, however, must allow for flexibility in program design and execution—one size definitely does not fit all with public sector populations," she says in the Almanac's chapter on "Boosting U.S. Health and Productivity by Reducing Chronic Disease."

For more information on the PFCD and to view a copy of the Almanac of Chronic Disease, visit www.fightchronicdisease.org.

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About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the care continuum toward the goal of population health improvement. These care continuum services include strategies such as health and wellness promotion, disease management, and care coordination. DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance promotes the role of population health improvement in raising the quality of care, improving health outcomes and reducing preventable health care costs for individuals with chronic conditions and those at risk for developing chronic conditions. DMAA's activities in support of these efforts include advocacy, research and the promotion of best practices in care management.

DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance 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. Visit DMAA on the Web at www.dmaa.org.

About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease. For more information about the PFCD and its partner organizations, please visit: http://www.fightchronicdisease.org.

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