Ken Thorpe's blog

Quantifying Quality in Healthcare

November 20, 2013

As a supporter of efforts to promote health and wellness by preventing and better managing chronic diseases, and accordingly, policy efforts to align financial incentives, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) believes that managing healthcare costs and improving quality are and should be pursued as complementary goals. Encouraged by increased discussion on quality measures among policymakers, the PFCD sees several issues critical to achieving patient-centered, value-driven care.

Exploring Opportunities to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs Among the Growing Aging Population

March 1, 2013

This week, I was invited to testify on Capitol Hill in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging in a hearing to discuss “Strengthening Medicare for Today and the Future.” Called to explore the possibilities for protecting the Medicare program without shifting costs or cutting benefits, the hearing provided an opportunity to underscore several concepts that were raised at the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease’s (PFCD) event in December, “Medicare & Health Care Savings: Can Entitlement Reforms Help to Bridge the Gaps for Healthy Aging.”

The Long-term Approach to Entitlement Reform

December 14, 2012

With all of the rhetoric about entitlement reform, both sides are debating the best way to cut Medicare. Rarely discussed in these conversations, though, is what the short-term and long-term impact will be to the patient.

Addressing the health needs of individual patients

In an earlier post in this space, I noted that the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is supportive of the mission of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In fact, I noted that PCORI could do important and necessary work by devoting resources to a better understanding of the millions of Americans who have multiple chronic diseases.

NCDs Check-up Convened to Empower Collaboration and Motivate Change

October 18, 2012

I had the opportunity to join an esteemed panel of health care and policy experts at The Washington Post this week for a panel event “The Check-up: Noncommunicable Diseases,” to revisit issues addressed last September at the United Nations summit on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The panel included a variety of thought leaders gathered to identify the progress made over the last year and highlight the projects yielding the greatest success.

Affordable Care Act Upheld

July 3, 2012

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States released their greatly anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010.

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, including the provision of the individual mandate that requires all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty. The law was upheld with a vote of 5-4, Chief Justice Roberts being seen as the key swing vote to secure the majority.

Obesity Projections for 2030 Demand Solutions to Control Chronic Diseases and Health Care Spending

May 10, 2012

A new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine presented at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference projects that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030.  This projection is in line with the findings of my 2009 study that showed that a large portion of the increase in health care spending is attributable to obesity.

Evidence Based Care Coordination CAN Work in Medicare

January 31, 2012

In light of the recent summary from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “Lessons from Medicare's Demonstration Projects on Disease Management, Care Coordination, and Value-Based Payment” there has been some short-sighted reporting on the findings of the demonstrations that have left some impressions that I feel need correcting. The solid and growing evidence base around care coordination - the vast majority of which was not included in CBO's document - shows that well-designed programs do work to both improve outcomes and lower costs.

Health Affairs Briefing Addresses Costly Consequences of Diabetes Treatment in America

January 11, 2012

This week I was honored to participate in a panel discussion at a Health Affairs briefing in Washington, D.C. on the costly consequences of the diabetes epidemic in United States.  The briefing, entitled “Confronting The Growing Diabetes Crisis,” opened up the dialogue about the many opportunities that exist to reverse the toll diabetes takes on the overall health of Americans – and their wallets. 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Keynotes PFCD Panel Discussion to Promote Adoption of Health IT

November 17, 2011

Earlier this week, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) hosted “Health Information Technology: An Invaluable Tool for Managing Chronic Diseases” at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. We were honored to have Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) keynote the briefing. Senator Whitehouse has earned a reputation for being a tireless and vocal advocate in Congress for using health information technology (IT) as a tool to improve health outcomes, to stop the spread of chronic disease and to save billions in Medicare and Medicaid programs by keeping people healthier.

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