NJ Spotlight: Interactive Maps Show NJ’s High Prevalence of Chronic Disease

In this article published by NJ Spotlight, titled Interactive Map: Tracking Chronic Conditions Among NJ’s Medicare Clients, the prevalence of chronic diseases such a hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and cancer are displayed on an interactive map, which shows the change in prevalence since 2007, and how many individuals are using Medicare to treat those conditions.  The article goes on to explain that with the NJ individuals who use Medicare for their healthcare, potential cuts to Medicare could be very detrimental to the availability of care.

Because New Jerseyans, and seniors in particular, rely on Medicare for their healthcare, the New Jersey AARP is concerned about the potential for cuts in the program. Jeff Abramo, the group’s communications director, wrote recently that the organization plans to hold the new president to his pledge not to cut Medicare, despite a plan by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to change the federal health insurance plan into a system that gives beneficiaries a federal subsidy to help them buy private healthcare coverage.

Through the chart above, it is easy to see that New Jersey has chronic disease prevalence rates significantly higher than the nation in many categories, with higher prevalence of 14 out of 19 chronic conditions tracked by federal officials.  To see how the rates of chronic conditions for the states and all the counties compare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has created an online mapping tool.