Chronic Diseases

This session sought to explain diabetes and the disease’s burden on individuals, society, and the health care system and to demonstrate effective state policies to prevent and treat people affected by diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Attendees learned about the state of science around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. We also discussed new policy initiatives that apply a public health template to diabetes. Successful state policy initiatives were presented by sponsoring legislators and supporting advocates.

This session sought to explain diabetes and the disease’s burden on individuals, society, and the health care system and to demonstrate effective state policies to prevent and treat people affected by diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Attendees learned about the state of science around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. We also discussed new policy initiatives that apply a public health template to diabetes. Successful state policy initiatives were presented by sponsoring legislators and supporting advocates.

When Illinois Rep. Michael Tryon had a physical exam in 2004, his cholesterol level was good, he had a normally functioning thyroid and his long-term blood sugar level—also called an A1c—was normal. After his first year of service in the legislature, things had changed.

This session sought to explain diabetes and the disease’s burden on individuals, society, and the health care system and to demonstrate effective state policies to prevent and treat people affected by diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Attendees learned about the state of science around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. We also discussed new policy initiatives that apply a public health template to diabetes. Successful state policy initiatives were presented by sponsoring legislators and supporting advocates.

One in 12 Americans has diabetes. Among seniors, the disease affects about one in five people ages 65 to 74. Illinois Rep. Mike Tryon is one of those Americans with diabetes. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2006, shortly after he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives.  He’ll be a speaker at a special health policy academy planned for The Council of State Governments’ National Leadership Conference in La Quinta, Calif., from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, May 18.  The academy will help legislators  understand what role they can play in addressing the disease. 

The diabetes epidemic extends to 26 million Americans, 8.3 percent of the population. The Southern states have the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes, while no particular region of the country stands out with the lowest rates.  As the nation’s population ages, more people are diagnosed with this disease, currently the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.  African-Americans are two times more likely to die from diabetes that whites.

Recognizing that diabetes is a serious disease with costly impact on the 26 million individuals who already have it and the millions more who will develop it as well as on the nation’s already taxed health care system, CSG is undertaking a diabetes initiative in 2012 and 2013.

CSG will offer a Diabetes Policy Academy during the National Leadership Conference in La Quinta, Calif. on May 17th from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Diabetes continues to cost the United States billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. Even as state funds become tighter, several states remain focused on lowering the prevalence and costs of the disease. The legislation focuses on diabetes prevention and management. States hope the money spent now will lower disease costs and morbidity and mortality rates in the future. 

A new Illinois law makes it easier for students to carry asthma inhalers with them in school.

The majority of state Medicaid programs are testing models of coordinated medical care to improve quality and reduce costs, particularly for patients with multiple chronic illnesses.  Patient-centered medical homes are similar to managed care approaches and health maintenance organizations, but ask providers to focus on improving care rather than managing costs. Such medical homes focus on improving the relationship between doctors and patients, aim to put the patient at the center of the care system, and provide coordinated and integrated care over time and across care settings. Descriptions of eleven states’ pilot programs or authorizing legislation are included.

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