DHHS Releases Results of Chronic Disease Studies

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Medicaid and Business Policy (OMBP) announce results of two studies of major chronic diseases: cardiovascular disease and circulatory disorders, and chronic respiratory disease. This is the first in-depth study of the diseases using both commercial and Medicaid health care claims data.

The studies, part of OMBP's Comprehensive Healthcare Information System (CHIS) project were developed to provide a detailed evaluation of the prevalence, utilization, and payments associated with chronic diseases. The studies revealed Medicaid recipients in both chronic disease categories had complex medical problems indicated by high rates of coexisting diseases and mental health disorders.

"The examination of health care claims data provides us with important insight into the treatment and cost of these major chronic diseases, both for the Medicaid program and the health care system as a whole," said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas.

The study of cardiovascular disease and circulatory disorders included examining coronary artery disease, stroke and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure and cholesterol were also evaluated as potentially 'at risk' for cardiovascular diseases. The study demonstrated the diseases and disorders were much more prevalent in the NH Medicaid population than those who are commercially insured, and that those with cardiovascular diseases contributed significantly to utilization and costs.

The study of chronic respiratory diseases focused on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. The results showed these diseases are also more prevalent among the NH Medicaid population than the commercial population, and that those with chronic respiratory diseases contribute significantly to utilization and costs.

"By conducting in-depth studies of these chronic diseases we can better understand the challenges the Medicaid program faces," said DHHS Medicaid Director Kathleen Dunn. "We can use this information to focus initiatives directed at improving access and coordination of care. The studies will also provide a baseline for evaluating our program efforts."

To see the study, visit the DHHS website: