A report from the Institute of Medicine released last week argues that the United States needs to invest more in its chronically underfunded public health system and spend public health dollars more efficiently. Learn more about the report and what its recommendations mean for the future of public health practice in this commentary from APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), published on the Health Affairs Blog.
The U.S. public health system, like its health care system cousin, is a patchwork of services, programs and regulatory authorities that is neither designed for optimal performance nor funded for sustainability and success. Those are the findings of a recent panel from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Their report entitled “For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future” takes a critical look at the needs of the public health system in a reformed health environment and makes several salient recommendations. The report notes that while we have made tremendous improvements in overall health, we are not keeping pace with other nations and, as has been noted many times, we are not getting the value that we should for our health care investment. In addition, the report emphasizes the fact that our nation has underinvested in public health, spending less than 3 percent of our health care dollar on public health and prevention.
This new report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, seeks to provide better guidance to policymakers and resource allocators about the investment needs of the public health system in an era of health system transformation. This report is a landmark study that makes the most definitive series of evidenced-based recommendations to date, and if implemented will finally move the needle in a substantial way toward building a high-performing, sustainable public health system in the United States.
The report describes 10 critical steps the nation can take in the interest of public health.
To continue reading this post, visit the Health Affairs Blog.