Women in Government
A Critical Resource to State Legislators in the Fight Against Chronic Disease
06.17.13 | By Jeff Trewhitt
Last week, we took another step in our fight against chronic disease by extending our successful partnership with the Women in Government Foundation, Inc. (WIG), a national non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators.
A year ago, PhRMA provided support to WIG to establish the WIG Care Coordination Legislative Toolkit and Resource Center, which focuses on information-sharing in chronic disease prevention and treatment efforts, such as chronic care management programs and health improvement initiatives undertaken by states, business, health professionals and community advocates.
The latest grant from PhRMA will help sustain the program at a time when chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of all health care costs in America.
Chronic care management programs are often tailored to specific high-risk populations, such as Medicaid patients with asthma or frail elderly Medicaid recipients. As WIG says, “proven care management programs can help to avoid costly complications, detect chronic diseases early on, manage health risks and help resident live healthier lives.”
The population health improvement programs rely on many different approaches to change behavior and improve health. For example, they address obesity prevention in children, smoking cessation and diabetes prevention, among others. Such health improvement efforts are conducted in schools, health care systems and work places.
The WIG Care Coordination Legislative Toolkit gives policymakers resources to enact sound policies for health care and health care delivery systems. The toolkit includes fact sheets, frequently asked questions, sample legislation and evidence-based model coordinated care programs.
Chronic diseases are responsible for seven in 10 American deaths and cost the nation more than $1 trillion a year. And if we don’t do a better job of preventing and treating cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions, it’s estimated the cost will rise to $6 trillion by 2050.
That’s why we’ve been collaborating with many different organizations like WIG to improve awareness, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. WIG sponsors educational forums and provides resource materials to address and resolve complex public policy issues for the nearly 1,800 women state legislators in the United States.
Those who want to help the fight against chronic diseases can access http://womeningovernment.org/care-coordination for up-to-date news and a variety of care coordination resources.