Over half of all Americans suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, which now constitute the largest segment of health care in America and cause 7 out of every 10 deaths yearly. These chronic diseases are also costly, with 86 percent of our nation’s total health care spending on those individuals with one or more chronic conditions. Millions of Americans with these conditions are covered by Medicare, and many have more than one condition, which makes treatment even more complex and exponentially more expensive. The Senate Finance Committee is currently crafting bipartisan legislative solutions to improve outcomes and to better coordinate care for Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions.
On Wednesday, June 15, the Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy, a partnership between the USC Schaeffer Center and the Center for Health Policy at Brookings, hosted Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who outlined his thinking about how the Medicare program can more effectively address the challenges of chronic disease. After his remarks, a panel of Brookings and other experts discussed the issue. You can join the conversation at #ChronicCare.