December 6, 2012
On November 27th, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease hosted a forum at the Hotel Sainte Claire in San Jose, CA that included a discussion on the “Chronic Disease Challenge in California and the Nation, Achieving Healthy Changes: How technology can transform healthcare.” The forum featured a diverse cross-section of panelists that included physicians, patient advocates, researchers, public program administrators, and business leaders. Presenters included:
- Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor, Wired Magazine
- Dr. Travis Stork, Healthy Lifestyle Author; Emergency Room Physician and Host, “The Doctors”
- Dr. Kent Bradley, Chief Medical Officer, Safeway
- Steve Skurnac, President, Sims Recycling Solutions
- Dr. Julie Andersen, Professor and Researcher, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
- Dr. John Farquhar, MD, Professor of Medicine and Health Research and Policy, Founder and Senior Faculty Member, Stanford Prevention Research Center
- Sandra Perez, Director, California Office of the Patient Advocate
- Micah Weinberg, Senior Policy Advisor, Bay Area Council
PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe and Editor-In-Chief of Health Affairs Susan Dentzer also featured heavily in the proceedings as Master of Ceremonies and Moderator, respectively.
Much of the discussion centered on the importance of recognizing chronic disease as a major cost driver of healthcare expenditures and the variables that impact those costs. Developing incentives, working with younger Americans to changes perceptions and behaviors, increasing the portability of health information and realistically addressing prevention as state-based health insurance exchanges roll out were all discussed as ways to help in the fight against chronic disease. Also discussed were the impact changing demographics will have on the system in the years to come.
With 18% of California adults aged 18 – 64 currently without insurance, the topics of discussion and ideas for prevention hit especially close to home. As PFCD Chairman Thorpe noted, with the high percentage of dollars targeted annually at those suffering from chronic diseases nationwide, fighting chronic diseases is the key to solving our long-term cost problems in the healthcare system.