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National Coalition Hosts Event to Examine Costs Projections for Chronic Diseases
Date:5/21/2009

New White Paper Outlines Possible Ways to Improve CBO Modeling and Information for Policymakers

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, during a Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease policy briefing on Capitol Hill, health policy researchers Michael J. O'Grady, Ph.D., and James C. Capretta, M.A., released a white paper, "Health-Care Cost Projections for Diabetes and other Chronic Diseases: The Current Context and Potential Enhancements." Their research suggests that, in selected instances, incorporating insights from clinical medicine and broadening the timeframe of analysis could improve the budgetary information available to policymakers.

"CBO is one of the most credible institutions in our government, and their cost-estimates inform critical policy decisions," said PFCD Executive Director Ken Thorpe, Ph.D. "This white paper is part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that more clinical and health status data could improve projection model accuracy and provide lawmakers with more information on the budgetary impact of health policy options."

O'Grady and Capretta's findings are grounded in a new projection model for diabetes incidence and associated health care costs, which they and other researchers recently developed. That model, built with the best clinical information on disease progression for diabetics, shows that a specific diabetes intervention could reduce costly complications over a 20-25-year period, and indicates that the customary ten-year period currently required in the Congressional budget process rules may therefore be inadequate to capture the full value of such an intervention. The authors conclude, "Sound policymaking for diabetes interventions and other chronic conditions with similar natural histories is likely to require cost estimates beyond ten years. These estimates will also need to incorporate the latest, most rigorous evidence from clinical medicine regarding the health status changes that might be expected from various interventions."

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., of Virginia Commonwealth University, moderated the discussion and commended the PFCD for bringing attention to CBO scoring methods in the context of health policy.

Earlier this year the PFCD released CBO Guiding Concepts, outlining three areas for improvement in scoring disease prevention and wellness initiatives: the timeframe of analysis, the transparency of assumptions, and the broader economic impact. PFCD also wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, urging Congress to call on CBO to incorporate new data on disease prevention and management.

"Recognition of the opportunity to achieve the long-term benefits of investment in disease prevention and management initiatives would provide a positive framework for making critical health policy decisions," said Thorpe. "As Congress and the Administration continue to work on health reform, it is important that our lawmakers have the best information available regarding the costs and benefits of health reform proposals."

About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:

The PFCD is a national and state-based coalition of more than 120 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 www.fightchronicdisease.org.

The white paper can be accessed at www.fightchronicdisease.org.

PFCD's CBO Guiding Concepts can be accessed at http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/resources/.


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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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