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Major Stakeholders in Health Reform Debate Call for Improvements in Scoring of Congressional Health Care Proposals
Date:4/22/2009

Benefits of Promoting Health and Wellness and Reducing Common and Costly Chronic Disease Not Fully Captured in Current CBO Estimates, Group Says to Senate and House Leadership

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 100 members of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) - an organization representing some of the nation's biggest voices in health care - today called on leaders in Congress to encourage updates in the manner in which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produces estimates for the cost of legislative proposals in health care. Specifically, they called out limitations in the current methods that, once corrected, would more accurately recognize the value of health care efforts aimed at attacking a significant driver of health care costs: the unchecked growth in common and costly chronic diseases, and related problems such as obesity.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the 150 partners and affiliated organizations that signed the letter ask that, "As our nation considers comprehensive health reform proposals, we hope that you will encourage the Congressional Budget Office to address barriers to recognizing the economic value of prevention and chronic disease management."

The group outlined several recommendations for updating the manner in which CBO scores health care proposals including:

  • A revision of "baseline" cost estimates to take in to account the deteriorating health status of the population and the estimated impact of this trend on spending in the years ahead
  • The ability to score savings beyond the commonly-accepted 10-year scoring window in order to sufficiently capture the long-term value of population health improvement programs
  • An estimate of the broader economic impact a policy change to promote population health will have on productivity, and u
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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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