Patients with multiple chronic conditions are difficult to treat. As people continue to live longer, the number of chronic conditions they must cope with often increases. A Robert Wood Johnson report on chronic conditions reaches the following conclusions.
- The number of people with chronic conditions is rapidly rising. Between 2000 and 2030, the number of Americans with one or more chronic conditions will increase 37 percent, an increase of 46 million people.
- Some 28 percent of Americans have two or more chronic conditions and they are responsible for two-thirds of health care spending.
- In the Medicare program over two-thirds of the expenditures are for beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions.
The Department of Health and Human Services has also put together a chartbook which gives some addition information on the prevalence of chronic conditions in the Medicare populations. Some charts below are extracted from that chartbook.