Appropriate intervention can stop some chronic diseases in their tracks.
Intervention
The Triple Solution for a Healthier America is a three-part approach to tackle chronic diseases, promote a healthier life, and lower healthcare costs by focusing on Prevention, Intervention, and Innovation.

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The Triple Solution for a Healthier America: Using Prevention to reduce chronic disease, promote a healthier life, and lower healthcare costs of diabetes and other chronic diseases The Triple Solution for a Healthier America: Using Intervention to better manage chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, promote a healthier life, and lower healthcare costs. The Triple Solution for a Healthier America: Using Innovation to reduce chronic disease and lower healthcare costs. Learn what you can do to reduce chronic disease, lower healthcare costs, and live a healthier life through personal, professional, and political involvement with the Triple Solution for a Healthier America.

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The Power of Intervention

Even with increased prevention efforts, people will get sick. When they do, we must help them:

  • Get the right treatment.
  • Stick with that treatment.

According to the CDC, preventive screenings and early intervention represent important steps in controlling the huge personal and financial costs of chronic diseases.1

We can minimize costly complications and lower healthcare costs. We have the tools and knowledge to manage many chronic diseases. But we often do a poor job of using this information. For example, even though type-2 diabetes can be treated effectively, an estimated 2 out of 3 Americans with type-2 diabetes are not in control of their blood sugar.2

1 in 6 American men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men. But with a proactive solution that promotes early detection and intervention, more of these men will survive.

The right intervention can stop some chronic diseases in their tracks. By getting treatment early and sticking with it for the right period of time, people can avoid getting sicker. A number of programs show that effective intervention and active disease management and active disease management works.

The Asheville Project, conducted by the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, is a good example. Effective intervention and management of diabetes and other chronic diseases can lower costs and improve health. In the Asheville Project:

  • Annual direct healthcare costs for participating employees with diabetes decreased by more than 34%.
  • Blood sugar and cholesterol levels improved.
  • Absenteeism on average dropped by half.3 The city estimates it gained about $18,000 per person in annual productivity.

Most agree that this approach makes sense. Helping people manage chronic diseases to avoid costly complications is a good idea. But finding the best way to achieve those results is a challenge. Our healthcare system aligns financial rewards toward treating complications instead of preventing them.

Showing that programs like the Asheville Project work and can be replicated is key. We must convince public and private payers that healthcare costs can be managed. The change needed is a system set up for early and aggressive intervention.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Disease Overview: Costs of Chronic Disease. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm. Accessed July 24, 2007.
  2. American Association of Endocrinologists. State of Diabetes in America. Jacksonville, FL: American Association of Endocrinologists. American Association of Endocrinologists Web site. Available at http://www.aace.com/public/awareness/stateofdiabetes/DiabetesAmericaReport.pdf. Accessed September 20, 2007.
  3. Cranor C, Bunting BA, Christenson DB. The Asheville Project: long-term clinical and economic outcomes of a community pharmacy diabetes care program. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2003; 43:173-184.