Friday, November 15, 2019

The Sept/Oct Health Policy News Roundup

keywords: health policy

  • Acupuncturist profession new member of the HCPAC
  • National Academy of Medicine publications Improving Access to And Equity of Care...
  • and Integrating Social Care...Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation's Health
  • Proposed Health Policy: The Rural Health Agenda
  • Using technology to improve the ability to prescribe patient health needs in the community: NowPow

Autumn Health Policy News 

Acupuncturist Profession is now a member of the HCPAC
This fall, the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) was approved as a full member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC). This is critical to the ability of the acupuncturist profession to participate in the national healthcare stage. It allows a licensed acupuncturist (professionals who have ACAOM accredited masters’ and doctoral degrees in the field) profession to take part in conversations about how our services are coded and billed, and aid in the creation of new codes.

Quotes from the ASA newsletter:
Important factors such as the work of the AMA and the HCPAC in shaping American healthcare are often underappreciated. This committee acts as the voice for the non-MD/DO professions in this insurance arena within the AMA, allowing input into crafting the language that impacts our ability to bill and code for our services. The ASA thanks the AMA for its allowance of our participation, and we look forward to many years of productive contribution. We value the chance to contribute with our colleagues in voicing the needs and interests of the non-MD/DO provider community."
 [The non-MD/DO provider community on the HCPAC currently includes acupuncturists (new!), athletic trainers, audiologists, chiropractors, dieticians & nutritionists, genetic counselors, massage therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, podiatrists, psychologists, respiratory care therapists, social workers, and speech therapists.]
“The journey to have Licensed Acupuncturists represented formally on this committee has been long. The ASA thanks AAAOM and the NCCAOM for their continued and persistent support in this effort. We also wish to acknowledge the work of Eric R. Buckley in leading us into this process, and Mori West for bringing us to completion. Amy Mager, Kallie Guimond, Dr. David Miller MD have been deeply involved in this process, as have others at different points in this process. We hope this next step will help to mature the profession and allow us to best be co-developers of integrative medicine in U.S. healthcare.

National Academy of Medicine Publications on Health Equity Issues, Public Health, and SDOH
For those of you interested in health equity issues here is the latest from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) about it, Improving Access to and Equity of Care for People with Serious Illness: Proceedings of a Workshop, published 9.13.2019.

NAM and SDOH paper
On reading this, the recommendations sound similar to the rural health initiatives and access Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) started championing this summer, the Rural Health Agenda.

The Rural Health Agenda is 3 bills to help expand access to health care to U.S. citizens living in rural areas: 
  1. the Rural American Health Corps Act,
  2. the Rural Health Innovation Act 
  3. Telemedicine Across State Lines Act.

Learn more about the proposed health policy, why I believe L.Ac.s should be one of the providers included in the Health Corps Act, and more resources for rural health care, including some grants open to applications this month, at this blog article.

Public Health, Innovation, and SDOH: Advocate Aurora and NowPow
Advocate Aurora is addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) through the platform NowPow. This platform enables providers to prescribe non-medical resources for a patient. The Advocate Aurora system is in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Keywords and phrases for this article include metrics, accountable care organizations (ACOs), patient care coordination, electronic health records (EHR) and health care costs.

“'Investing in care managers and a uniform EHR system are just a couple of the strategies Advocate Aurora Health uses to reduce costs and improve care quality through their ACOs. But the investments in people and infrastructure are allowing the health system to venture into new spaces, such as social determinants of health,’ Stuck emphasized. 'We know that only about 20 percent of medical care contributes to the overall care of the patient and the other 80 percent comes from social determinants. So, areas such as transportation, housing, and financial security are important,’ he said. ‘Since we have a responsibility to care for our patients and help them to achieve optimal health, we see addressing social determinants not only as a responsibility, but also as an effort that will help us provide care in the right area and improve access for patients.’  
“An example of how Advocate Aurora Health is addressing social determinants of health is the implementation of NowPow….NowPow is a mobile-enabled messaging and referral platform that enables the health system to ‘prescribe’ non-medical resources to address patient care. The technology has been a valuable resource for care managers. Care managers and other providers already screen patients for food, housing, and transportation security. But the platform uses that data to query a database of over 11,000 community resources to link patients to services in their neighborhood, and it closes the feedback loop with clinical and community service providers.”  Advocate Aurora Invests... emphasis added

More blogposts on Health Policy

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