American College of Lifestyle Medicine Calls for Focus on the Root Cause of Chronic Disease to Achieve Real Health Care Reform

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The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) has issued a call for the U.S. health care delivery system to focus health care reform efforts on treating the root cause of chronic disease, thereby reversing the current escalating disease and associated cost trends. ACLM advocates for evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine to become the foundation of all health care, as it is synonymous with value-based care.

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"Lifestyle Medicine offers new playing pieces that address the root causes of our highest cost illnesses."

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) has announced its issuance of a call for real health care reform by challenging the public and all parties that comprise the U.S. health care delivery system to focus on the root-cause of chronic disease: lifestyle. Rather than the reform conversation being about who will pay for ever-increasing quantities of pills and procedures to manage disease symptoms, the group advocates for swiftly and proactively addressing the 80% or more of all health care spending that pays for the treatment of conditions rooted in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.

The nearly 2,500-member medical professional association challenged its colleagues in the industry and the public to educate and equip themselves about evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine, integrating it into their own lives, into medical practices and into the industry’s professional organizations.

“We, as a nation, cannot accept the unsustainable reality of our current health care system, which some refer to as a disease care system,” said ACLM Executive Director Susan Benigas. “Due, in large part, to the continued, alarming rise of lifestyle-related chronic disease trends and their associated costs, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts U.S. insolvency in the not too distant future. This laser focus on modifiable behaviors—starting with what we eat and how we move—is the path to sustainable health and sustainable health care. Our ACLM members are leading the charge for real health care reform.”

“Much of the discussions around health care reform involve taking the same playing pieces and moving them around differently,” said ACLM Past President Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH, FACLM. “There's no real opportunity for a long-term win. Lifestyle Medicine uniquely offers completely new playing pieces, ones that address the root causes of our highest cost illnesses. It’s a big picture strategy, but likely the only thing that can really reverse the current cost, outcome and patient satisfaction challenges.”

ACLM, the medical professional society dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine, defines Lifestyle Medicine as the evidence-based, first-option therapy to treat, often reverse and prevent chronic disease through a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance use and other non-drug modalities.

ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification in lifestyle often missing in U.S. medical education, and has teamed with the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine to provide certification to physicians and other health professionals. The Lifestyle Medicine physician has been identified by the Association of American Medical Colleges as one of the top five emerging medical careers.

“The current cost trends for health care are unsustainable for individuals, governments and employers,” said Actuaries for Sustainable Health Care President Ken C. Beckman, ASA, ACAS, MAAA, CFA. “But as these trends are driven by chronic diseases, which are mostly reversible and preventable through lifestyle medicine, real health care reform can be achieved.”

“REAL health care reform will be achieved when Lifestyle Medicine becomes the foundation of all health care—as it is synonymous with value-based care: significantly lowering costs and delivering far superior patient outcomes,” said ACLM President George Guthrie, MD, MPH, FACLM. “Now is the time to inject ‘health’ back into health care. Now is the time for all parties to become part of the solution. With a Lifestyle Medicine-first approach to health care, we will identify and eradicate root causes of disease, ensuring sustainable health, sustainable health care and a sustainable world.”

Learn more about ACLM’s campaign for real health care reform at
https://www.lifestylemedicine.org/RHR

Find evidence-based studies for Lifestyle Medicine at https://lifestylemedicine.org/ACLM/About/Scientific_Evidence

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the medical professional society for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. Lifestyle Medicine treats, often reverses and prevents chronic disease. It is the combined use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance use and other non-drug modalities.

More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanized force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective mission to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the root cause of disease. Learn more at http://www.LifestyleMedicine.org.

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Jean Tips
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
+1 9719835383 x119
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