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ACOs, Chronic Diseases, Public Health

BY MATTHEW YI – Did you know that by the time children in America reach third grade, their healthy or non-healthy habits can impact them for the rest of their lives? Or, that by slowing the onset of chronic conditions among adults between ages 50 and 60, healthcare providers could deliver significant savings to the U.S. healthcare system within just a couple of years? Or, that 80 percent of all cardiovascular diseases are preventable?

These were just a few of the fascinating facts discussed at the recent Milken Institute’s Public Health Summit in Washington, D.C., where Kristen Miranda, Blue Shield’s senior vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, participated as a panelist. She was one of five health care experts who spoke on “The Economic Impact of Chronic Disease: The Case for Prevention, Early Detection and Better Management.”

Miranda spoke about the successes and challenges of Blue Shield’s nationally recognized Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program and how it addresses population health. Our program is a clinical and economic model that has resulted in improved care delivery, demonstrated efficiencies and cost savings, and has created financial incentives for stakeholders to deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare to patients. But as Miranda asked her audience that included policymakers, industry leaders and academics: “Are we moving quickly enough?”

Panelists addressed multiple issues around the economic and societal impacts of chronic disease and how the healthcare system can improve the prevention, detection and management of many fundamental chronic issues that afflict patients such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and high blood pressure.

Some of the most compelling discussions focused on the staggering medical costs associated with chronic diseases; employers’ productivity losses and slowdown in economic growth due to health-related employee absenteeism; and the importance of moving forward with a value-based healthcare delivery system versus a fee-for-service model.

To learn more about Miranda's presentation and other inspiring insights from the Milken Institute’s panel discussion, click here to see the video.

Matthew Yi is senior director of corporate communications at Blue Shield of California.