Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability and death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These chronic conditions and the factors that lead to them can be more common or severe in minorities, including African Americans.

For example, African Americans are 40 percent more likely than Caucasians to have high blood pressure, and the rate of diagnosed diabetes is 77 percent higher among African Americans than Caucasians, according to the CDC. The average life expectancy among African Americans is also lower, at 75.1 years, compared to 78.9 years for Caucasians.

Services like Chronic Care Management (CCM) can help people living with chronic conditions coordinate care services and lead to better outcomes and higher satisfaction.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary with two or more chronic conditions, ask your doctor about CCM and see if you’re eligible for connected care, including services such as:

  • At least 20 minutes a month of CCM services.
  • Personalized assistance from a dedicated health care professional who will work with you to create a care plan.
  • Coordination of care between your pharmacy, specialists, testing centers, hospitals and more.
  • Phone check-ins between visits to keep you on track.
  • Emergency access to a health care professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Expert assistance with setting and meeting your health goals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Health Resources and Service Administration introduced the “Connected Care” campaign to help raise awareness about the benefits of CCM. The campaign has free resources, including an animated video that can help you learn more.

Talk to your doctor to see if CCM is available to you and visit Medicare.gov to learn more about the benefits of the program.


ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS JAN 7-8 – In this Nov. 19, 2011 photo, Kenji Taylor second year med student, left, checks Jim Brown's blood pressure, as Darryl Thomas, second from left, owner of Philly Cuts, and Browns daughter Jazmin Brown, right, and student Christopher Turner looks on at Phiily Cuts in Philadelphia. Barbershops are frequent gathering places for black men. This is the second year that a handful of University of Pennsylvania students have periodically dropped into a predominantly African American barbershop, armed with blood-pressure cuffs, literature, and a yearning to make a difference long before they don white coats. (AP Photo/The Inquirer, Ashlee Espinal) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; NEWARK OUT

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