The aging of the American population is spurring the increased focus on efforts to provide better care for people with chronic conditions. This is the message of the HealthStream article, Manageable but Often Overlooked: Chronic Disease Treatment Will Play a Vital Role in Effective Population Health Efforts.
Demographic Urgency: Growing Senior Population Provides Impetus for Quick Action
From a healthcare stance, reducing illness and lowering costs for chronic health populations is an understandable goal. From an operational perspective, it’s one with an urgent timeline due to the U.S.’s growing older population. In addition to sheer numbers, the trend of more seniors who are aging in place to remain in their homes vs. moving into a care facility where conditions could be monitored more effectively, means population health management will become even more crucial in both rural and urban communities in the coming years.
The numbers speak volumes: 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 77 percent clock in with at least two, according to the National Council on Aging, which also reports that diabetes affects 12.2 million Americans over the age of 60, or 23 percent of the senior population.
90% of Americans over Age 55 Are at Risk
More alarming, 90 percent of Americans age 55+ are at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure. In addition, 50 percent of women over 60, 77 percent of women over 75, and 64 percent of men over 75 actually have the condition (NCOA, n.d.).
For many seniors, the completion of daily tasks is a significant challenge, much less adhering to a complicated medication and treatment regimen. The hope is that seniors, along with a younger and often equally non-compliant population, will benefit from population management strategies that focus on not just managing chronic conditions but also reducing their severity, and early detection and prevention. And these conditions are lethal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases account for seven of the top 10 causes of death in the United States and are consuming 86 percent of its annual healthcare spending. (Kent, 2018)
This article also includes:
Kent, Jessica. “Addressing Chronic Disease with Population Health Management Strategies.” July 12, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2018. https://healthitanalytics. com/news/addressing-chronic-disease-with-population-health-management-strategies.
NCOA, “Healthy Aging Facts.” Accessed April 7, 2019. https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/healthy-aging-facts/.
Download the full article here.
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