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Health Care Conundrum: Well Care vs Disease Management


News flash, modern medicine often misses the mark in true health care.   Consider the following information…

“Treatment for people with chronic diseases and conditions accounts for 75 percent of [dollars] spent annually on medical care in the US.  According to a 2007 report from Milken Institute on the economic burden of chronic disease, even modest reductions in preventable risk factors could lead to 40 million fewer cases of illness and to savings of more than $1 trillion by 2023.” (Citation)

In my daily practice, I see the struggles my patients experience obtaining quality advice, accessing care, and managing “diseases.”

I agree with the assessment stating 75%  health care dollars are spent on chronic diseases.  I would add that 75 % of diseases actually represent preventable risk-factor related lifestyle choices.

My intention is not to preach, control or harass my patients or readers, but rather clearly state facts I’ve learned from my daily walk in the medical primary care trenches.  Additionally, I want readers to understand each of us have the ability to change our health future.

I have witnessed lifestyle change cure diabetes.  I routinely remove unnecessary high blood pressure medications from people who made simple, yet profound lifestyle choices resulting in permanent changes in their long-term health.

I find myself spending more time encouraging patients to look at daily choices.  Choices  can include nutrition, fitness, leisure activities, friends, habits, work, and more.  More often than not, nutrition, nicotine, alcohol, stress, and inactivity cause the 75% of preventable diseases.

Disease can “happen” to each of us.  In those scenarios, choices still make a difference.  Even in unavoidable health situations getting as many things working right as possible can prove worthwhile.

I suspect US health care costs and outcomes will under perform globally without a focus on “WELL-CARE” and less on “DISEASE MANAGMENT.”

As always your questions or comments are welcome!


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