Chronic conditions account for growth in health care spending

A recent article published in Health Affairs titled “Chronic conditions account for rise in Medicare spending from 1987 to 2006” points to the changing nature of health care in developed countries. What is particularly scary is the disjoint between what (North American) systems are designed to deliver versus what the needs are. While some may see this as a threat, I see this as evidence for an opportunity to transform the health care system.

Given that chronic conditions are an increasingly important aspect of health care needs, I can’t help but point out that more needs to be done to support informal caregivers. By “informal caregiver”, I mean the family members and friends who support patients and provide necessary services that the health care system cannot. Like I mentioned, these are exciting times, but there is a tremendous amount of work to be done.