Chronic Disease Treatment

A chronic disease is defined as a medical disease lasting three months or more. Medications cannot cure these illnesses, and vaccines will not prevent them, nor do they disappear on their own. Most chronic diseases are caused by poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, or tobacco use. However, some are hereditary and tend to affect people more as they age. Here is a list of some of these diseases:

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cancer such as breast or colon
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Chronic Kidney disease
  • Lime disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Oral Health
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome
  • Thyroid disease
Click here for a complete list of chronic diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. each year. They also account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. Because of this, there has been an increased focus on preventive care.

The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 established a standard for Medicare coverage for preventive services and required Original Medicare to waive the co-insurance and deductible for specific covered preventive services. While this does not apply to treatment once you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, it can help with the preventive costs.  To see how preventive services are covered, visit medicare.gov. This site will advise how often services are covered and what you should expect as your co-insurance.

If you have 2 or more serious chronic conditions, or your conditions are expected to last a year or more, Original Medicare will consider paying for a healthcare provider to help manage your condition(s). You must also have Original Medicare Part B. Some of the treatment included in managing your chronic disease are:

  • At least 20 minutes per month of chronic care management services
  • Personalized healthcare from a provider to build a plan to fit your medical needs and goals
  • Check-in phone calls between visits to help you stay on track
  • 24-7 emergency access to a health provider
  • Expert help with setting and meeting your medical health goals
As far as your cost goes with Original Medicare, you may have a monthly fee for chronic disease management, and the Original Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance will apply. Having supplemental insurance or Medicare and Medicaid may help cover the monthly payment. Also, if you have either Diabetes or Heart disease, you may qualify for a D-SNP plan. For information regarding D-SNP, check out this article on our website, What are Medicare Advantage Special Needs Programs?.
If you need a review of your current Medicare plan,  give one of our representatives at Medicare Pathways a call at 866-466-9118. We will be more than happy to assist you with a no-cost, no-obligation review and quotes for plans in your area.