Over Half of Medicare Beneficiaries Have Five or More Chronic ConditionsWASHINGTON, DC – The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease released a white paper today on one of the most pressing challenges facing our health care system today -- how to care effectively for the significant and growing number of Americans coping with more than one chronic conditions.The paper’s release accompanied a briefing on Capitol Hill today featuring a panel of health care including who discussed the challenges we face and policy decisions that could result in better care, decision-making, and outcomes for people coping with and at risk for developing multiple chronic conditions (MCC).“The population affected is significant: more than one in four Americans lives with multiple chronic conditions, including one in 15 children,” said Ken Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. “Two out of three Medicare beneficiaries have more than one chronic condition, and over half have five or more. Nearly two thirds of that spent on health care in the U.S. is directed toward care for the twenty-seven percent of Americans with multiple chronic conditions. Policy decisions have to account for this reality.”Despite the significant number of people coping with multiple chronic conditions, most clinical practice guidelines and - as a result - quality measures focus on managing a single condition in isolation. In reality, following single disease guidelines for each condition could lead to conflicts, unintended consequences, and a total medicalization of the patient's life.“Building the evidence base is a critical need for this significant and growing population, and for the decision makers who are guiding budget cuts and developing policies relevant to the care of all patients in the U.S., but particularly to patients who utilize and depend upon the health care system most frequently.”The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the World: chronic, non communicable disease.