health

Strategy outlined for chronic disease prevention

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 4, 2013

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To improve the nation's health, preventing chronic diseases needs to be prioritized, says a report issued Jan. 29 by Trust for America's Health.

To achieve that goal, the organization calls for advancements in the public health system, including increased funding, and the partnership of public health officials with physicians, health care payers and educators (link).

The recommendations come on the heels of a Jan. 9 report that showed Americans on average die younger and experience higher rates of disease and injury than populations of 16 other high-income countries. That report was published by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.

Key initiatives suggested by the Trust for America report include:

  • Eliminating co-pays for preventive services that received an A or B grade from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
  • Integrating community-based strategies into new health care models, such as by expanding accountable care organizations into accountable care communities. (ACCs work across sectors, such as housing and education, and work with physicians and public health officials to improve health.)
  • Providing effective, evidence-based wellness programs at all workplaces.

These recommendations were made in response to data showing that more than half of Americans have one or more serious chronic diseases, a majority of which could have been prevented.

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