Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fwd: qotd: Senate HELP hearing on primary care

Quote-of-the-day mailing list

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: Senate HELP hearing on primary care
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:59:27 -0800
From: Don McCanne <don@mccanne.org>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <quote-of-the-day@mccanne.org>

United States Senate
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
January 29, 2013
Subcommittee Hearing
30 Million New Patients and 11 Months to Go: Who Will Provide Their
Primary Care?

Primary Care Access
A Report from Chairman Bernard Sanders

The primary health care system in America and its workforce is in
significant need of a checkup. As the population grows and ages, as more
doctors retire, and as the primary care pipeline dries up, we face a
severe shortage of providers. The result is that millions of Americans
are not getting the care that they need now and the situation may only
get worse. Although the ACA took important steps towards expanding
access points by increasing funding for community health centers and the
National Health Service Corps, for example, the tremendous scope of the
problem requires further attention and action. Just like an illness from
which it will be more difficult and costly to recover from the longer we
wait, we must take steps now to address the primary care access crisis
in America.


Video of the hearing (2 hours):

Written testimonies of the witnesses:

Fitzhugh Mullan, MD , Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health
Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and
Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of
Medicine, Washington, DC:

Tess Stack Kuenning, CNS, MS, RN , Executive Director, Bi-State Primary
Care Association, Montpelier, VT:

Toni Decklever, MA, RN , Government Affairs, Wyoming Nurses Association,
Cheyenne, WY:

Andrew Wilper, MD, MPH , Acting Chief of Medicine, VA Medical Center,
Boise, ID:

Uwe Reinhardt, PhD , James Madison Professor of Political Economy and
Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University,
Princeton, NJ:

Claudia Fegan, MD , Chief Medical Officer, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital
of Cook County, Chicago, IL:

Comment: We have a crisis in primary care. Unless we improve and expand
our primary care infrastructure, we will become more dependent on the
alternatives: overuse of emergency departments, fragmented care in
walk-in clinics, traveling large distances from rural communities devoid
of primary care, excessive use of direct access to specialized services
limited to those who can afford it, and, worst of all, limited or no
health care access for those who are uninsured and cannot afford it.

Today's hearing of the Senate HELP Committee is important because it
brings attention to the seriousness of this problem, demonstrating that
action is an imperative. Although, as you read this, you do not have
time to watch a 2 hour video nor read a half dozen testimonies, links
are provided so that you can access these resources later - perhaps
during the weekend when many of you have more time. If not, these links
can be saved for later reference.

Although this session was focused on primary care, a couple of comments
from the testimony of Claudia Fegan are apropos because of the larger
needs in health care. Claudia is not only Chief Medical Officer of Cook
County Hospital, she is also a former President of Physicians for a
National Health Program. She understands that primary care would
function much better if we had comprehensive health care reform.

As she states, "If we would enact a single-payer national health
program, where everyone was entitled to health care as a right, we could
focus on delivering to our patients the best care in the world and
relieve our physicians of the administrative hassles..."

And her plea to the members of the Senate HELP Committee, "I urge you to
work to make a difference, not for me or you, but for the patients I
have the privilege of serving, who desperately need their elected
officials to care about what happens to them."

And isn't her advocacy truly representative of the essence of primary care?

No comments:

Post a Comment