On January 31, 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report titled Living Well With Chronic Illness – A call for public health action stating that, despite existing national initiatives to help patients with chronic illnesses, the healthcare industry is not doing enough for patients.
The report brief states that chronic conditions are reaching a boiling point, steadily moving toward crisis proportions. The medical care costs of people with chronic illnesses represent 75 percent of the $2 trillion in U.S. annual health care spending. “Yet maintaining or enhancing quality of life for individuals living with chronic illnesses has not been given the attention it deserves by health care funders, health systems, policy makers, and public health programs and agencies.”
The report identified nine “exemplar” conditions that significantly affect the nation’s health and economy: arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, dementia, depression, type 2 diabetes, post-traumatic disabling conditions, schizophrenia, and vision and hearing loss.