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ACA seen leading to more chronic-illness diagnoses



“Physicality” (photography, oil, narrative text on panel), by Sherry Karver, at Lanoue Gallery, Boston.

A study at the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that the Affordable Care Act may cause many more people to get diagnosed and treated for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

The ACA could mean that 1.5 million newly insured people will be diagnosed with one or more chronic illnesses, the researchers projected, helping about 659,000 people gain more control of previously unmanaged conditions. That, in turn, could reduce the severity of their conditions.

Insured people are much more likely than uninsured people to receive a diagnosis for a chronic disease.

But of course the expansion of the number of patients  who can afford to  be diagnosed suggests that we’d need a lot more clinicians to do the diagnosing and then help with the disease management. It’s unclear how much earlier diagnoses and then close disease management would affect overall healthcare costs.





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