Chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and Parkinson disease are the principal cause of all sickness and death in the United States and represent the vast majority of health care expenditures. Although we now live in a world dominated by chronic conditions, health care is still organized around a commitment to treating acute illnesses. Meeting the Challenge of Chronic Illness examines current deficiencies in chronic illness care and explores ways to improve it. Addressing the challenges of shifting from the primacy of acute illnesses to the predominance of chronic conditions, the authors identify the components necessary to reorganize and reform health care: properly prepared health care workers; involved patients and families; appropriate use of new technologies, especially information systems; an appropriate role for prevention; and the creation of funding approaches that will provide necessary incentives. This book calls on policy makers, health care providers, and educators to address one of the greatest challenges facing the health care system.