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Making Progress on Health Reform: Where Does Fighting Chronic Disease Fit In?

The First in a Series of Briefings Sponsored by The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Feb. 27 Capitol Hill briefing on chronic disease prevention and care - the first in a series of Health Care University events planned this year as the nation moves toward broad health care reform - will explore opportunities to deliver higher quality care at a lower price through reform built to promote health and incentivize better choices related to prevention and management of chronic illness.

The briefing, "Making Progress on Health Reform: Where Does Fighting Chronic Disease Fit In?" will be hosted by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) and bring together some of the nation's leading health care experts in this field to discuss potential solutions to the chronic disease crisis. The briefing will begin at 2pm, Feb. 27, in room 1311 of the Longworth House Office Building.

"Americans are calling on their leaders for health reform that eases the burden of health care costs while also improving quality and access," said Ken Thorpe. "PFCD has outlined a set of solutions to help guide policymakers toward such health reform and policies that tackle the true cost driver in the system: chronic disease."

The briefing will focus on the promise of policies built around fighting chronic disease, and why immediate action through comprehensive health reform is critical. Speakers at the briefing will include:

  • Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
  • Marcus Plescia, M.D., MPH, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health; and President of the Board of Directors, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)
  • David Wennberg, MD, MPH, Chief Science & Products Officer, Health Dialog

Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths and 75 percent of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in the United States each year. More than 130 million Americans today have a chronic disease, many of which could either be effectively prevented or minimized through simple, low-cost disease prevention and management programs that would eliminate, not just shift, costs from the U.S. health care system. The annual economic impact on the U.S. economy of the seven most common chronic diseases is calculated to be $1.3 trillion, which could balloon to nearly $6 trillion by the middle of the century.

"While many health reform proposals under consideration get stuck in political debate, tackling chronic disease is the one thing that everyone - Republicans, Democrats and the public - all agree on," said Thorpe. "Given the toll chronic diseases are taking on our nation, the time to act is now."

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

SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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