Improving Care for Chronic Illness

Experts, Patient Advocates at “Better Together Health” Recommend Payment Reform, Digital Technology, and Standard Quality Measures; Keynote Sen. Johnny Isakson Calls for Focus on Wellness and Disease Prevention

Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2016) – With a new Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives study showing that people with chronic illnesses get only slightly more care coordination than other patients, participants at the “Better Together Health: Patient Expectations and the Accountability Gap” that convened on June 15 shared solutions for improving care and patient outcomes.

The event was sponsored by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of leading integrated multi-specialty medical groups and health systems across the United States and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

”Today, half of Americans live with a chronic condition,” said Robert Pearl, M.D., Chair of CAPP, and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “The challenges for American health care are to prevent chronic illnesses in the first place, intervene early to avoid complications and use 21st century technology to support patients throughout their lives. Multi-specialty medical groups with strong physician leadership can accomplish each of these better than the rest of the nation, and the beneficiaries are their patients.”

Panelists discussed results from the Nielsen survey of over 30,000 American consumers and over 600 physicians that revealed only about half of Americans reported receiving patient care from coordinated care teams and about one third have 24/7 access to care other than through the emergency room.

Policy improvements suggested to support the continued development of an effective integrated healthcare delivery system include improved EMR interoperability, a movement toward paying for value and modernized, patient-focused quality measures.

Event keynote speaker Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-GA), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Work Group, reiterated the group’s commitment to helping Medicare patients with chronic illnesses receive the care coordination they need. “We must ensure that wellness and disease prevention are top priorities for the next Administration,” Isakson said.

Tim Gronninger, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spoke about new legislation designed to bring about payment incentives to help support the adoption of integrated care. Other panelists included:

  • Ceci Connolly, moderator, President/CEO, Alliance of Community Health Plans
  • Karen Cabell, DO, Chief of Quality and Patient Safety, Billings Clinic
  • Regina Holliday, Patient Rights Activist, Artist and Author
  • Marc Klau, MD, Assistant Regional Medical Director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
  • Leana Wen, MD, Baltimore City Health Commissioner


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