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Amended Chairman's Mark Sets Stage for "Hitting 'Bulls-eye' in Health Reform"
Date:10/9/2009

Analysis of Health Reform Legislation Shows Shift Towards Health, Wellness; "A la Carte" Approach Could Limit Impact, Expert Cautions

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today released an updated comparison of chronic care provisions contained within health reform legislation to reflect the amended Senate Finance Committee proposal. The amended "Chairman's Mark" includes numerous provisions to prevent and manage chronic disease, the top cost driver in health care, as do the two other major pieces of health reform legislation under consideration in Congress.

"For the first time in a national debate on health care, preventing and managing chronic disease is being recognized as a health reform priority that holds the key to helping improve health and reduce costs over the long-term," said Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., PFCD Executive Director. "And, I think the legislation coming out of the Finance Committee is a great example of the type of comprehensive change needed to set the stage for Congress to hit the 'bulls-eye' in health reform this year."

"I'm also encouraged that the Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate of the bill shows that we can improve quality and expand coverage and while still achieving cost-savings," Thorpe added, noting that the amended Chairman's Mark invests nearly $5 billion in prevention initiatives to reduce rates of common and costly chronic illnesses, in addition to funding a new prevention and wellness trust fund.

"However, as legislation moves forward, we need to remain cognizant of the importance of taking a holistic, as opposed to an 'a la carte,' approach to delivery system reforms. Well-coordinated, comprehensive changes are required to improve prevention, disease management, coordination of care, and care transitions or else we won't be able to effectively control costs -- especially in Medicare."

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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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