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Prioritize Preventive Care
The United States health care system faces serious challenges when it comes to prevention and disease management. Our healthcare system spends about 75 cents of every healthcare dollar dealing with chronic diseases, most of which are either preventable or treatable. Prevention and increased coordination of care would significantly alter the cost equation.
The NMA supports a shift toward prevention and disease management that will serve to improve quality of health care in all populations. We support the following actions taken by Congress in the recently enacted health reform legislation:
Preserve the Health Care Safety Net
As the “Conscience of American Medicine”, the NMA is very concerned about the preservation of the health care safety net. The NMA is convinced that advocacy efforts to protect entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid are critical to the survival of the nation’s medically underserved populations.
Insured Americans, along with federal and state governments, already foot the bill for the uncompensated care of the uninsured. Higher premiums and disproportionate share (DSH) payments could be reduced if more of the uninsured were covered under their own (affordable) plans. We support the following actions taken by Congress in the recently enacted health reform legislation:
Reduce Health Disparities
The NMA has been responding to inequities in healthcare throughout its history. Although the reasons for disparate health are numerous and complex, bold action must be taken now to reduce and eliminate disparities. One such way is through health information technology (HIT).
HIT adoption stands to benefit all Americans by improving information exchange, reducing errors, and cutting costs. We recommend the following actions be taken by Congress: