The Academic Health Center has joined a
national collaborative that will work to improve the care of patients
with chronic illness.
Chronic (long-term or frequent) illness
affects more than 100 million Americans. Eighty percent of Medicare
recipients have one or more chronic illnesses, which account for about
75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars spent.
UC will work with the Health Alliance,
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and teams around the
country to better define programs and identify best practices for
managing chronic illnesses such as asthma, depression, diabetes,
hypertension and chronic heart failure, among others.
This year-long initiative, called the
Academic Chronic Care Collaborative, is a partnership between the
Association for Academic Medical Colleges and Improving Chronic Illness
Care, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
"As a whole, the United States is set up
very much as an acute-care system (for rapidly developing illnesses),"
says T.J. Redington, MD, who will lead the teams, "yet most of the
patients we see are living with chronic illness.
"It's important that we come up with
strategies for managing chronic illness in our clinics and hospitals,"
says Dr. Redington, who is community health director for the Health
Alliance and medical director for Ohio's Medicaid program, as well as
an internal medicine professor at UC.