HHS Awards Stimulus Funds for State Chronic Disease Programs
On Tuesday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $27 million worth of grants from the 2009 economic stimulus package that will go to state programs aiming to reduce chronic diseases and improve physical fitness among U.S. residents, HealthLeaders Media reports.
Officials hope programs aimed at curbing chronic conditions can reduce Medicare costs by preventing such diseases. CMS reports that two-thirds of Medicare spending goes to beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions.
The grants will go to 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico by the federal Administration on Aging. Several states will receive at least $1 million in funding, including California, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
Officials also hope to learn which programs are most effective in combating chronic diseases. According to HHS, state agencies on aging, public health departments and Medicaid will unite to "support the deployment of evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs."
HHS added that organizations receiving grants will serve at least 50,000 older adults "and gather evidence regarding the impact of these programs on health behavior and health status outcomes of the participants."CMS and the Administration on Aging also will conduct a pilot study in one state to test quality by tracking Medicare claims for those participating in the chronic disease self-management program and of beneficiaries not participating in the program (Masterson, HealthLeaders Media, 3/30). 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.