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Team outlines 21st century roadmap to make America the healthiest nation in the world
Date:5/5/2010

national security, so must we construct a health information superhighway system in the 21st century. Why is it that all Americans can have 24-hour access to their bank accounts from anywhere in the world yet there is no information technology system in place for electronic health records to improve quality, effectiveness and medical decision making?" asks Blumenthal. She points to a key historic investment of $19 billion in the recent ARRA legislation (the "stimulus package"), compared to $111 million in the previous fiscal year.

Another Commission recommendation facilitated by health IT includes the establishment of a Federal Aviation Administration analogous center in an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to report, monitor and reduce the more than 1.6 million injuries and 100,000 deaths that occur annually due to medical errors.

Public health and prevention are also essential elements of health care reform, with more than 75 percent of health care costs in the U.S. resulting from chronic diseases that are linked to preventable factors, yet only 3 to 5 percent of the nation's health budget is spent on prevention.

"We have an epidemic of chronic disease in America with more than a million Americans who die prematurely every year due to health damaging behaviors including smoking, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Obesity rates have tripled in the past 25 years, threatening our nation's future," said Blumenthal. "If we continue on this path, the economic costs are unsustainable and for the first time in our nation's history, this generation of children may not be as healthy or live as long as their parents."

The report endorses the establishment of a Federal Prevention and Wellness Fund in the health care bill (recommended in the Commission's first report) to support innovative community health programs. It also proposes launching national health education campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles,
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Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu
480-258-8972
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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