The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced it will make $100 million available to states so that they can offer incentives to Medicaid enrollees who adopt healthy lifestyles such as quitting smoking or losing weight. In fact, the program will focus primarily on obesity and tobacco use.
We commend CMS for this initiative. Prevention is a sure way to combat the growing number of patients with chronic diseases and which accounts for 75 cents of every health care dollar we spend.
In addition, nearly half (45 percent) of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease. More than two-thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of the five most prevalent chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
But the fight against chronic disease isn't just CMS' battle. PhRMA, along with partners that include patient advocacy organizations and health care professionals, is part of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, raising awareness of the toll chronic disease on patients, their families and the cost of health care.