What We’re Thinking
Today, health care reform is a hotly contested topic at the state and federal levels. But the political debate centers on expanding health care access, versus improving the system. While expanding access is critical, NEHI believes that bringing more people into a health care system plagued with rising costs and declining quality is not a cure-all.
We must also improve quality and affordability by reorienting health care to keep people healthy rather than simply treat them when they become sick. To do this, we must address three core areas: preventing disease, improving the management of chronic illnesses and redesigning primary care.
What We’re Doing
Remaking Primary Care: From Crisis to Opportunity
A growing body of evidence suggests that a strong, high-quality primary care system is directly related to superior health outcomes in other nations. Yet the current primary care system in the United States is seen by practitioners and patients alike as inefficient, fragmented and expensive. In this background paper, NEHI highlights the driving factors behind the primary care system crisis in the United States and offers comprehensive, innovative solutions.
Rx for Health Reform
In this call to action, NEHI has put forth “The NEHI Nine,” principles to change the way we finance, organize and deliver care:
1. Gather, analyze, and disseminate data on which prevention efforts work.
2. Promote the use of high value prevention services, especially in obesity and diabetes, in both the public
and private payment systems.
3. Make a serious national commitment to reducing health risk behaviors in the U.S.
4. Encourage and reward the use of proven best practices for patients with chronic diseases.
5. Accelerate improvements in the quality and availability of health information technologies that improve the
management of chronic illnesses.
6. Expand public and private research to identify high-quality and cost effective delivery systems for chronic
7. Provide payment for innovative ways to deliver primary care.
8. Increase public and private payments to physicians to pay them adequately for both prevention and
9. Make the redesign of primary care a high priority for the U.S.