Ken Thorpe Discusses Health Reform on CNN

Ken Thorpe appeared on CNN American Morning on August 18, to discuss health care reform and chronic disease. Watch the clip.

We've got to go back to the basics. Three-quarters of what we spend in this country in health care is linked to patients that have chronic health care conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol.

And in the Medicare program, we have 20 percent of patients are readmitted to the hospitals within 30 days. We need to rebuild the delivery system in this country to make sure that we're doing a better job of working with patients to keep them out of the hospital, keep them from being readmitted to the hospital in the first place.

If we did some simple things in Medicare, just cutting readmission rates in half, we could save $100 billion in the next ten years. That's the discussion we need to be having on how to control health care costs.

We've become off-center here by an exclusive focus on the public option. It's a good discussion. But we need to go back to the basics.

Where do we spend our money? How do we control health care costs and it really starts with people that have chronic health care conditions.