Telehealth holds great promise for improving primary care through increasing access, improving patient experience and enabling team-based care models. Importantly, while telehealth expands access to all patients, it may improve health equity for lower socio-economic patients who may lack transportation or sick leave.
Faced with Republican resistance on the size and scope of their proposed COVID-19 response legislation, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act, Capitol Hill Democrats are attempting to do something no Congress has succeeded in doing since 2006 – pass two budget reconciliation bills in a single year.
There is a real window for bipartisan support on legislation focused on reducing health care costs and improving quality.
Health care’s exorbitant costs can never be controlled without fundamentally shifting society’s focus toward the underlying social and economic conditions.
Over the weekend, congressional negotiators reached a deal on a more than $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. This legislation will be tied to a year-end government funding bill. Among the many provisions in the bill are several of particular interest for employers and health care purchasers.
The outcome of the presidential race has ended with Joe Biden the new President-elect, and the potential of a split Congress. The new political landscape has significant implications for large employers and health care purchasers, PBGH policy experts explained in a members-only webinar the morning after the election, Nov. 4.
Mental health concerns are increasingly common, yet many patients in California are not screened for symptoms and are unable to access treatment. Understanding patients’ access to care is challenging; data are scarce and usually only available at a statewide level, even though there are likely wide regional differences due to workforce shortages.
Patient experience is an important quality indictor, both for provider organizations and patients. The benefits to patients include better disease management, quality of life, treatment adherence, outcomes and preventive care. Provider organizations that provide a better patient experience also benefit through lower medical malpractice risk, higher employee satisfaction and better patient loyalty.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency in mid March 2020, primary care practices across the nation have adopted telehealth at astronomical rates. Working closely with California provider organizations, the Pacific Business Group on Health’s California Quality Collaborative (CQC) designed technical assistance webinars supporting primary care practices rapidly implementing and optimizing telehealth to care for patients unable to be seen in-person during the pandemic. CQC’s work highlighted significant challenges providers are experiencing, as well as lessons on how to maintain telehealth gains in the future.
The COVID pandemic has created a rise of mental health concerns. One in four people already struggle with their mental health, and recent reports indicate 45% of people feel their mental health has been worsened by the pandemic. Mental health conditions are greatly impacting the workforce, with wide-reaching implications for well-being and workplace productivity.