Chronic Care

The problem:

For the 47 percent of Americans with multiple chronic diseases or conditions, health care costs increase dramatically. The average Medicare patient with one chronic condition sees four physicians a year, while those with five or more chronic conditions see fourteen different physicians a year. In 2002, beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions accounted for 76 percent of Medicare expenditures. [link; gated, but with abstract]

The obvious solution: more conferences, more papers, more research grants. Isn't that how we solve problems in other markets?

See my post at the Health Affairs blog for a description of how some employers are solving the problem with Health Savings Accounts.

Comments (5)

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  1. Stephen C. says:

    John, what do you have against conferences, papers and research grants? Everybody has to earn a living some way.

  2. Larry C. says:

    Good point Stephen, but do they have to pretend they are solving problems in the process?

  3. Bret says:

    Thanks for the link to the Health Affairs post. That’s very interesting.

  4. Tom H. says:

    It’s more than interesting, Bret. It points to a whole new way of thinking about chronic care. I had never thought before about the implications of getting the economic incentives right for chronic care patients.

  5. John Goodman says:

    To comment on the Health Affairs post, go here: