As the House and Senate get close to releasing their versions of comprehensive payment and delivery reform legislation, the Campaign For Better Care, with the help of students from the Harvard School of Public Health, will be doing a series of blog posts this week highlighting our 10 Principles for Better Care.
5. Promotion of Public and Community Health: Payment reform must be accompanied by a renewed commitment to funding public and community health. DPH, local health boards, community groups, and community health workers play an integral role in supporting a global payment system oriented toward wellness and prevention.
Out current system is focused around the treatment of disease rather than the promotion of health and wellness. As costs continue to sky to rise, we must begin to think about health care differently and focus on keeping our population healthy by creating a payment system that rewards providers for promoting health rather than the utilization of health services.
- We strongly support dedicated public health, community prevention funding such as Prevention and Cost Control Trust Legislation: The ACA has created a National Prevention Fund and National Prevention Strategy, it is time for Massachusetts to develop similar efforts and lead prevention efforts and wellness on a state level.
- Payment systems must strengthen community health resources, such as Community Health Workers and peer and professional community supports: Research has proven that prevention efforts are most successful when they are created for and by the community and providers that are most engaged with the community; however, our current payment system does not promote comprehensive interventions at a community level.
Community prevention and public health would allow us to better control costs and promote a healthier population for the Commonwealth. We have seen key individuals including Mayor Menino, Boston Public Health Commission board chair Dr. Paula Johnson, Governor Deval Patrick, as well as key legislators in the Massachusetts State House champion the necessity and urgency of incorporating prevention into payment reform. The federal government has already taken a leading role through the creation of a National Prevention Strategy and the inclusion of a Prevention Fund through the Affordable Care Act, it is now time for Massachusetts to be a leader yet again and pursue a state prevention strategy through payment reform.
Better care means the inclusion of public and community health prevention.
– Martyna Skowron