For release Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 12 pm EDT
For information contact John M. Clymer, Executive Director, 202-903-7303 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL FORUM AND PARTNERS URGE CONGRESS AND ADMINISTRATION TO
INCREASE PATIENTS’ ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, TEAM-BASED CARE
Today, the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention and 21 organizations representing patients, healthcare providers, public health, payers and purchasers called on Congress and the Trump Administration to implement policies that will expand access to care options for patients nationwide, especially in underserved or otherwise vulnerable populations. Members and partners of the National Forum’s Value & Access Initiative issued a Joint Policy Statement with recommendations that would enable people to obtain more healthcare services from pharmacists, often closer to where people live or work.
Patient access to quality healthcare is important all the time. COVID-19 multiplies its importance and urgency. Mounting evidence shows that people with underlying conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, are more likely to suffer severe COVID-19 illness. Even before the pandemic, these conditions were leading drivers of healthcare costs, hospitalizations, premature deaths, disability and lost productivity. The links to severe COVID-19 illness underscore the urgent need to optimize care for patients with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases and ensure all patients have continuous access to essential treatments.
There is strong evidence that patient-centered, team-based care improves patient outcomes, and reduces overall healthcare costs. The evidence shows that pharmacists are key to components of effective team-based care and improve both health outcomes and cost-effectiveness.
Yet, residents of many states cannot obtain evidence-based care from pharmacists. Reasons include state scope of practice limitations and unsustainable care models. The recommended policies can overcome these barriers and improve care for patients nationwide.
“This group of diverse stakeholders is united in calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Congress to remove barriers to people getting the care they need. By bringing healthcare closer to where people live and work, these policies will help reduce racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in health, improve health overall, and increase the value delivered by the U.S. health system,” said John M. Clymer, Executive Director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention.
The recommendations support sustainable care delivery models that include patient access to pharmacist care and other services, such as testing. Read the Joint Policy Statement.