$27 Million in Funding Awarded for Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs for Older Americans

Older Americans with chronic diseases can learn how to manage their conditions and take control of their health using the $27 million in grants announced today by the to provide self-management programs to older adults with chronic diseases Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  The Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will allow 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to provide self-management programs to older adults with chronic diseases build statewide delivery systems and develop the workforce that delivers these programs.

“Prevention activities can strengthen the nation’s healthcare infrastructure and reduce healthcare costs,” said Secretary Sebelius. “These new grants will provide an important opportunity for states, tribes, territories and communities to advance public health across the lifespan and to help reduce or eliminate health disparities.”

Chronic disease can negatively affect quality of life and threaten the ability of older adults to remain independent within their own homes and communities.  The more chronic diseases an individual has, the more likely that individual will become hospitalized.  Two-thirds of Medicare spending is for beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions.

“The number of older adults with chronic conditions will increase dramatically in the coming years as our aging population grows,” said Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, whose agency, the Administration on Aging (AoA), will administer the grants.  “This opportunity will allow states to build the foundation for an infrastructure that embeds health prevention programs into the nation’s health and long term care system and expands a system of care that addresses the growing prevalence of chronic conditions.”

The Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which serves as a model for this initiative, emphasizes the patients’ role in managing their illness and building their self-confidence so they can be successful in adopting healthy behaviors.

The first baby boomers will turn 65 in 2011 and of these, more than 37 million – or 6 out of 10 – will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030.  For example, 14 million boomers will be living with diabetes while almost half of the boomers will live with arthritis (that number peaks to just over 26 million in 2020).

State agencies on aging, public health departments, and Medicaid agencies will work together to support the deployment of evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs targeted at older adults with chronic conditions.  Grantees will serve at least 50,000 older adults and gather evidence regarding the impact of these programs on health behavior and the health status outcomes of the participants.

Two federal evaluation activities will complement required state reporting. Additionally, AoA will collaborate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a pilot test in one state as a quality assurance process that will track Medicare claims data of chronic disease self-management program participants and Medicare beneficiaries not participating in the program.  Data from all these sources will be used to assess the impact of this Recovery Act program on participant health behaviors, health status, health care utilization and health care costs.

To see the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program State Funding Table, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery/cdc/awardschronicdisease.html

To learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-management Program grantees, visit http://www.aoa.gov/AoAroot/PRESS_Room/News/2009/03_18_09.aspx

To learn more about the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, visit http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/cppw/factsheet.html

To learn more about the HHS Implementation of Recovery Act funding, visit http://www.hhs.gov/recovery

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