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CHART report main imageHealthcare delivery in New Jersey is under increasing strain due to the rising prevalence of chronic disease. A chronic disease or illness is “a condition that is slow in progression, long in duration, and void of spontaneous resolution, and it often limits the function,productivity, and quality of life of someone who lives with it.”1 In many cases these conditions cannot be prevented by vaccination or cured by medication. They must be managed. As of 2014, 60 percent of American adults had at least one chronic condition, and 42 percent had more than one chronic condition.2 When a patient suffers from more than one chronic condition (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, and obesity), treatment is difficult to manage and expensive to deliver. Patients suffering from chronic disease often face hospital readmissions due in part to inadequate and disjointed care coordination and those readmissions raise costs throughout the healthcare system.

To better illuminate the impact of chronic conditions on healthcare consumption and delivery in New Jersey, NJHA’s Center for Health Analytics, Research & Transformation (CHART) examined patient record data from more than 3 million hospital emergency room visits. These claims, representing emergency room visits to 68 of the state’s 71 acute care hospitals in 2017, are valuable for understanding the magnitude and geographic disposition of chronic disease in New Jersey.

This analysis of chronic conditions reveals some of the many factors within New Jersey communities that are eroding efforts to improve the health of the people of New Jersey. The prevalence of chronic conditions is exacerbated in the most socio-economically challenged areas such as Atlantic City, Jersey City and Trenton, and is more actively prominent in the African-American population.

  1. Institute of Medicine. 2012. Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  2. Buttorff, C.; Ruder, T.; Bauman, M. Multiple Chronic Conditions in the United States; Rand Corporation: Santa Monica, CA, USA, 2017; Available online: (accessed on 8 November 2018).