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Transitional care’ helps Iowans stay ahead of chronic diseases

May 6, 2016 
The Des Moines Register
Linda Abbott and Gary E. Rosenthal 

As Americans continue to suffer from a chronic disease epidemic, Iowans are leading the battle against this rising tide — especially as it relates to our rural populations, who may have a harder time getting to the doctor.

Chronic diseases are straining our health care system to the breaking point. But, rather than focus on the negative, let’s look at what has been done to create better health outcomes for some of the most at risk patients. Treating people battling chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, accounts for 86 percent of our spending on health care. More than 1 in 2 Iowans live with at least one chronic condition. Patients with such conditions incur health care expenses that are more than $2,000 per year higher compared with peers without a chronic condition. 
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