- Garth Graham
- Walter Tsou
- Elena Rios
- Willarda Edwards
- Melvina McCabe
Health Care Reform reflects the soul of our country and hits at the heart of what it means to be an American. With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), physicians must take this opportunity as a call to action to guide and implement this historic bill and ensure that all of our patient populations are accounted for.
This historical passage of the health care reform bill is a sign of a progress, but it is much more. It signifies the beginning of a new era in health care. As the reform promises many new benefits for patients and care providers, it is our responsibility as AANHPI leaders to use this unprecedented opportunity to make our voices heard, to address the major health concerns of our communities, and to contribute to the improvement of the overall health status of America. We must begin by speaking up to assume and solidify our positions of leadership while ensuring the path for our future leaders. We must work with leaders in Congress and government to utilize the tools available, monitor the implementation of the reform, and convert our efforts into meaningful change.
We will join this movement to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health by redefining health care in the following ways:
- Define skill sets and cultural competency clearly and institute these within the health care delivery system to provide culturally competent preventative care. There needs to be an increased focus in preventative measures such as home health care, disease prevention, and education to keep patients out of the hospital.
- Develop an interdisciplinary workforce to include physicians, community workers, nurses, and clinics, with optimal levels of core, cultural competencies.
- Address the disparities and growing problem of Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSA) by redistributing training, competency, and specialty choice.
- Address existing gaps in the reform bill as they pertain to the key issues of immigration, cost control, and the uninsured.
- Fuel change by engaging in responsible data collection, specifically by disaggregating data in Asian and other sub-populations.
As representatives of minority populations, we must approach these goals through partnership and alliances to move forward with a unity of purpose in accomplishing these universal goals.Health Care Reform - Goals
The goal of the health care reform is to:
Guiding HCR: Physicians as Agents of Change
- Extend coverage to address geographic location and culture competencies. Physicians will be at the front of a new, more comprehensive and efficient system of primary care, identifying high risk patients, stressing preventative care, and promoting education and health literacy.
- Decrease bureaucracy and associated administrated costs, increase efficiency with electronic payments and more standardized systems.
- Improve quality of care by developing a patient-centered care process, and further improve quality with personalized information focused on prevention and overall care.
By 2050, ethnic minorities will constitute 50% of the American population. With the landscape of diversity rapidly changing, it will be essential for minority physicians to work together and ensure that HCR programs benefit these growing populations that have been historically underserved. In addition to focusing on underserved areas (HPSA) and better preventative care, physicians serving and advocating for minority populations must form a strategic alliance to build a network that strengthens and sustains our minority organizations and builds a stronger public health infrastructure.
As physicians, we must address the issues that we see in our own practices by understanding the data and the needs of our communities. We must relate common areas of disparity with our fellow minority organizations to create forums for open dialogue, sharing successful programs, increasing the use of proven strategies, and developing new strategies.
We are the leaders who will serve as the voice of those who are not heard.