The heaviest users of the medical care system are the 128 million Americans who suffer from chronic health conditions, disabilities, or functional limitations. However, the system is not organized to meet their needs, according to a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. People with more than one chronic condition, disability, or functional limitation have even greater difficulty receiving appropriate care. The study, which appears in the November/December 2001 issue of Health Affairs, suggests that better education of clinicians and changes in eligibility rules and health insurance coverage policies are needed to provide a system geared to the care for people with chronic health problems.
"Our health care system is oriented towards treating people with acute episodes, and not people with recurring problems or long-term health needs," says Gerard Anderson, PhD, professor of health policy and management and international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and national program director for Partnership for Solutions, an initiative to improve the care and quality of life of Americans with chronic health conditions.
"Millions of Americans suffering from chronic health problems, disabilities, or functional limitations must navigate a complex system of doctors, specialists, and caregivers with little help or coordination of care. Fundamental changes are necessary to design a health care system to meet the needs of those who use and need it the most," explains Dr. Anderson.
Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), Dr. Anderson and James Knickman, PhD, vice president for research and evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, estimated the number of Americans in 1996 suffering from long-term health problems and divided them into three categories; chronic problems, functional limitations,and disabilities. The researchers determined that 120 million Americans currently suffer Page: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Tim Parsons or Ming Tai
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
. People wounded in tsunami at risk of undetected fungal infections2
. People on food stamps cant afford heart-healthy meals3
. People are of two minds on moral judgments4
. People with low incomes more likely to develop brain tumors5
. People are averse to taking drugs6
. People with chronic eye diseases not getting recommended eye exams7
. People with large pupils can now get LASIK and avoid night vision disturbances8
. People only slightly more likely to die after episodes of stagnant air9
. People with food allergies should not only be careful about what they eat10
. People who give, live longer: U-M study shows11
. People near freeways are exposed to 30 times the concentration of dangerous particles