PFCD Briefing Spotlights Health Information Technology in Managing Chronic Diseases, Cutting Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) hosted a briefing for Senate staff today entitled “Health Information Technology: An Invaluable Tool for Managing Chronic Diseases.” U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse keynoted the briefing held at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and kicked off a panel discussion featuring dynamic perspectives on how health information technology (HIT) is critical to promoting health and coordinating the care needed to manage populations struggling with chronic diseases. The panel, moderated by PFCD Executive Director Kenneth Thorpe, included speakers from XLHealth, Allscripts and the Marshfield Clinic.

The seven most common chronic diseases have an annual economic impact on the U.S. of more than $1 trillion a year, which – without change – could balloon to nearly $6 trillion by 2050. Additionally, largely preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases account for more than 90 cents of every dollar spent on Medicare and Medicaid, particularly for the dually eligible population. The members featured on today’s panel work extensively with dual eligibles, giving them unique knowledge into the role HIT can play in achieving improved overall health for this population and others as well as increased efficiencies in health care delivery systems.

“Some of the most effective care coordination tools employ health information technology as a way to help prevent, detect and slow the onset of debilitating chronic diseases that one in two Americans struggle with each and every day,” said Dr. Ken Thorpe, Executive Director of PFCD and Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. “A keen focus on prevention and care coordination will expedite a productive path to both improving outcomes and decreasing costs for the entire population and especially those who battle costly chronic diseases.”

The panel included:

  • The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator, Rhode Island
  • Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease; Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
  • Laurie Russell, RN, CCM, GCM, Vice President, Quality Strategy & Outcomes, XLHealth
  • Douglas A. Gentile, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Allscripts|
  • Kori Krueger, M.D., Assistant Medical Director of the Institute of Quality, Innovation, and Patient Safety, Marshfield Clinic

XLHealth, a Medicare Chronic Disease Special Needs Plan for beneficiaries with diabetes and heart failure, discussed how it uses Health IT to improve health outcomes and lower costs in high-risk Medicare populations highlighting effective utilization of Interdisciplinary Care Teams and Medical Management Programs. With a diabetes patient management example, Allscripts highlighted the importance of Health IT platforms such as ePrescribing and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to create opportunities for interventions with advanced care coordination techniques. Finally, Marshfield Clinic – successful participant in the Medicare Physician Group Practice Shared Savings demonstration – focused on seven critical elements of patient care and how each best translates to provider use of EHRs, patient registries and other Health IT tools to improve individual and population health.

For more information on PFCD, the event and the speakers, please visit

About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.


for Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD)
Jennifer Burke, 202-223-9260
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  District of Columbia

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Public Policy/Government  Healthcare Reform  Congressional News/Views  Public Policy  White House/Federal Government  General Health


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