Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Handling Multiple Chronic Conditions

Did you know that two-thirds of older adults suffer from multiple chronic conditions? As we're living longer, more sedentary lives, more problems just build up.

In December, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report:
Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions on the challenge our nation and its people are facing in dealing with this problem. How can we reduce the costs for society, taxpayers and the individuals who are afflicted by so many different ailments?

Big pharma and specialist seem to want to treat each condition in isolation and with drugs. But this approach has the very real potential to wreak havoc with unintended drug interactions. We need a new system with one doctor in charge of a team that works together.

 We individuals need to read up on this challenge and put pressure on our congress, our president and the medical establishment to start implementing some real solutions. The models are out there at places like the Mayo Clinic. The problem is that there are too many special interest groups with too much money and entrenched positions who are controlling the situation.

Electronic health records can be part of the solution. Being an advocate for your own health is another. And expecting the medical establishment to use more "best practices" is still another. 

Read more at:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/12/20101214a.html and in Jane Brody's column in The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/health/22brody.html

No comments: