Chronic Disease  /  Future Value

While medical innovations and public health gains in the past century have been measurable in leaps and bounds, significant progress against acute disease has revealed an equally enormous challenge—chronic disease on an unprecedented scale. Close to half of Americans have chronic conditions and 1 in 4 have more than one. They cause 7 out of every 10 deaths and cost our country 75 cents of every health care dollar. With chronic disease prevalence growing at a faster rate than the population as a whole, the forecast is daunting.

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    • Medicines in Development for Older Americans, 2008  
    • Avoidable Treatment Expenditures, 2023  
    • Percent Growth in Number of People Reporting Chronic Diseases, 2003-2023: Current Path versus Alternative Path  
    • Costs That Can Be Avoided, 2003-2023  
    • Avoidable Treatment Costs and Output Losses, 2023  
    • Avoidable Productivity Losses, 2023  
    • Changes in behavior, preventative measures and innovation could save $1.6 trillion in treatment costs.  
    • In an optimistic scenario, more effective prevention and management of disease could save $218 billion in treatment expenditures annually in 2023.  
    • Analysis of Medicare data on quality and costs of care for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), hip fracture, and colorectal cancer (with resection) reveals substantial variations in one-year, risk-adjusted mortality rates…  
    • If the major risk factors for chronic disease were eliminated, at least 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes would be prevented; and 40% of cancer would be…  
    • Medicines in Development for Older Americans  
    • Using newer drugs could lower overall health expenses by as much as $111 per person, per condition, for the general population, and $155 for Medicare beneficiaries.  
    • Medicare could save $26 billion per year if currently healthy older people were able to remain fully independent over the course of a single year.