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Chronic disease patients don’t get days off. From making sure they receive proper treatment to handling insurance issues, they must become their own advocates while juggling professional and personal lives. It is exhausting. Three major hurricanes presented further problems for patients in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and their surrounding areas. With news coverage focusing heavily on the hurricanes, September brought other important and relevant chronic news. From Lady Gaga’s battle with fibromyalgia to increased diabetic complications in California, here are five stories you must read:
  1. Patients continue battling barriers to receiving care

Suffering from a neurological condition similar to multiple sclerosis, has struggled to gain access to medications that best treat his condition. With insurance companies dictating treatment and proposing prohibitions on charitable premium assistance, patients like Joseph are forced to become their own advocates.

  1. Increased diabetes complications in California

From 2010 to 2016, diabetes related lower-limb amputations have increased by more than 31 percent in California. Diabetes complications can often be prevented, which begs the question: Are diabetes patients in California receiving the proper care?

Read more about this phenomenon here.
  1. Lady Gaga opens up about battle with fibromyalgia

A singer, songwriter and actress, Lady Gaga recently cancelled the European leg of her Joanne World Tour while opening up about her battle with fibromyalgia in her new Netflix documentary, “Gaga: Five Foot Two.” Fibromyalgia, which remains difficult to diagnose, is typically misunderstood by those who don’t have a connection to the disease. Vogue writer Je Banach discussed her experience living with fibromyalgia this month, and explains why Gaga’s announcement was impactful for the fibromyalgia community.

  1. Insurance companies continue to ban charitable premium assistance

For many patients suffering from long-term chronic conditions, financial support from nonprofits and charities can be a lifeline. Known as charitable premium assistance, this support system helps many patients not have to choose between the electricity bill and the medical bill. Because chronic patients are more expensive for insurance companies to cover, they have found a legal loophole which allows them to drop patients that accept premium assistance from charities. Read one man’s letter urging his senator to take a stand for chronic disease patients here.

  1. Southwest Florida clinic offers help after Irma devastation

Hurricane Irma devastated Florida, leaving many chronic disease patients without access to medication or treatment. Realizing the need for treatment and medication, the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida stepped in and offered affordable healthcare options for patients affected by the storm – regardless of their insurance coverage.

Join the Chronic Disease Coalition to learn more about the chronic community and how you can help.