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Video: NCOA Issues Call-to-Action for National Chronic Care Reform Based on Results of Comprehensive Survey of Americans with Chronic Conditions
Date:3/18/2009

d this percent is much higher among Latinos (63 percent), African Americans (58 percent), people with annual household incomes below $20,000 (65 percent) and people with four or more chronic conditions (59 percent).

With chronic conditions as the central challenge to American health care today, the NCOA seeks to identify gaps in appropriate chronic care, including self-care, to inform the national conversation about health care reform. The survey examines the attitudes of Americans with chronic conditions and explores their quality of life, health needs and experiences with the health care system. The survey also identifies barriers to self-care and what is needed to better manage overall health.

"Chronic disease accounts for more than 75 percent of the nation's $2 trillion medical care costs. In order to truly help direct health reform efforts, NCOA listened to those most affected to get a better understanding of their challenges and what they need to better manage their health," said Nancy Whitelaw, Senior Vice President, Center for Healthy Aging with NCOA. "Given what the survey participants told us, we identified three areas of focus necessary for re-forming the health care system in order to support Americans with chronic conditions."

The NCOA characterizes the following three areas of focus as:

  • Policy: The federal government needs to make investments in community-based programs, and in primary care and hospital settings to ensure team-based, coordinated care across all settings.
  • Practice: Health care professionals have a responsibility to connect their patients to effective community self-care programs, as well as improve the quality and coordination of care to people with chronic conditions.
  • Personal Skills: Americans with chronic conditions need to develop the skills and confidence to manage their health and to advocate for
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SOURCE National Council on Aging
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