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Published By: Polycom
Published Date: Mar 13, 2015
The days are gone when health issues would be treated
clinically in isolation from the many other factors that affect
the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Today,
the rising costs of health care, an aging population and
increasingly complex chronic health problems are driving
greater focus and attention on population health — the health
outcomes of a group of individuals within a population.
Indeed, these days more proactive approaches to health
care and care delivery are identifying the social determinants
of health for various populations such as environmental
conditions, economic status, and access to resources
There are many causes, but patient behaviors can play a large role in many chronic
diseases. The 3-4-50 Framework, developed by the UK-based Oxford Health Alliance,
states that tobacco use, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to cancer,
cardiovascular disease, chronic lower-respiratory disease and diabetes. Those four
conditions cause 50 percent of deaths, many of them premature.
Chronic disease is a major expense for America’s healthcare system. According to the Centers for
Disease Control, 90 percent of the $3.3 trillion in U.S. healthcare spend is for chronic diseases.
If appropriate steps aren’t taken to improve both prevention and treatment of such diseases,
the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease predicts that the projected total cost of chronic disease in
America could tip the scales at $42 trillion by 2030. The most expensive conditions in terms of direct
healthcare costs are diabetes, Alzheimer’s and osteoarthritis, and the three most common chronic
conditions are hypertension, dyslipidemia and osteoarthritis.