ACP Leaders Outline Policy Recommendations to Improve Healthcare Post-Coronavirus

A group of American College of Physicians (ACP) leaders say that policy recommendations outlined in the organization's policy paper, "Better is Possible: The American College of Physicians Vision for the U.S. Healthcare System," can help advise current actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. They suggest that the paper can guide future actions to improve access to care, reduce per capita healthcare costs, and reduce healthcare system complexity. The Ideas and Opinions article, "The Collision of COVID-19 and the U.S. Health System," was published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read the full text:

The authors say the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for improving access to care for all Americans, as universal coverage would help millions of uninsured Americans and provide a safety net for those facing financial burden. And of particular relevance right now, the current pandemic has also demonstrated how factors of race and ethnicity are contributing to an inequitable healthcare system, resulting in poor outcomes for these populations. ACP's New Vision for U.S. Healthcare makes policy recommendations to reduce social factors and eliminate social barriers for vulnerable and underserved populations, including women.

As Bornstein, et al. (2020) note, "The American College of Physicians envisions a health system that ameliorates social factors that contribute to poor and inequitable health (social determinants); overcomes barriers to care for vulnerable and underserved populations; and ensures that no person is discriminated against based on characteristics of personal identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, gender or gender identity, sex or sexual orientation, or national origin. We believe more than ever that better is possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated that the status quo is unacceptable and strengthens our resolve to help shape a better health care system for all Americans. This pandemic has ripped the seams of the U.S. healthcare system wide open, thrusting front and center our healthcare inequities and injustices. The bigger challenge moving forward is how we can take the lessons learned from this time of great suffering and fear to create an equitable and just system of care for all."

Reference: Bornstein SS, et al. The Collision of COVID-19 and the U.S. Health System. Ann Intern Med. June 2, 2020

Source: American College of Physicians

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