Experts Discuss Public Health at Conference Led by President Clinton
At a recent Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta, public health advocates discussed ways to improve public health and reduce health care costs, HealthyCal reports (Potter, HealthyCal, 2/5).
In November 2012, President Clinton announced an initiative through the William J. Clinton Foundation to reduce health disparities in California's Coachella Valley.
The Clinton Health Matters InitiativeÂ will seek to reduce health disparities related to:
- Income levels; and
In addition, it will aim to reduce preventable diseases.
The initiative will operate in different regions across the U.S.
As part of the initiative, several corporate partners in various regions -- including General Electric, Tenet Healthcare and Verizon -- will launch or extend wellness-related programs, such as:
- Farmers' markets;
- No-cost exercise classes;
- Smoking cessation programs; and
- Walking groups (California Healthline, 12/5/12).
Comments From Conference
At the conference, Clinton warned attendees about the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease across the U.S. He said, "About 70% of adults have already developed a preventable chronic disease which contributes to rising health care costs and reduces workplace productivity and (leads to) premature death."
Clinton said that health officials should give people incentives to make healthier choices rather than relying on messaging about the dangers of unhealthy behaviors. He said, "We have to create positive incentives, not just threats about death or injury."
Former CMS administrator Donald Berwick said, "Forty percent of our health depends on our choices," which is "very good news" because what "we can do ... [is] largelyÂ [in] our own hands."
Berwick said that the current health care system encourages hospitals to over-treat patients, noting that theÂ Affordable Care Act seeks to improve the system by emphasizing "payment for chronic care, coordination and outcomes."
Dean Ornish, a renowned heart health expert, suggested a new treatment approach that involves a team of specialists who would oversee a patient's care.
Ornish said, "The managed care approach â¦ is forcing doctors to see more patients, in less time for less income, driving the best doctors out of medicine," adding, "We can create a new paradigm which is based on the quality of care and not just more care."In addition, Peter Tippet -- CEO of Verizon -- said the company can facilitate efforts to transform the health care system through the use of health information technology and mobile applications (HealthyCal, 2/5). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.