Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Report to President and Congress Addresses 'Serious Oversights' in National Health Care Debate

/PRNewswire/ -- A report commissioned by The Physicians Foundation, a national health care organization that represents the interests of physicians, raises new questions about the role of socioeconomic determinants as they relate to access, quality, and cost of medical care in the United States. The report, prepared by a team of noted physicians and economists headed by Richard "Buz" Cooper, MD, Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, was sent to the President and Congress today in order to contribute to the national health care debate.

The report, entitled "Physicians and their Practices under Health Care Reform," highlights several important concerns that the report's authors believe have been left out of the health care discussion, including: the growing problem of physician shortages, the changes in physicians' practices that will be necessary in a reformed health care system, and the pervasive effects of poverty and other social determinants which impact variation in access, quality and cost of care.

The full report can be viewed at

"In preparing this report, our goal was to create a realistic, common-sense framework that will assist legislators in crafting policy in ways that address the needs of both doctors and patients and that lead to a stronger and more cost-effective health care system," said Dr. Cooper. "It's clear that without adequate numbers of physicians, the health care system cannot function effectively; without adequate attention to the structure of physician practices, the system cannot function efficiently; and without adequate attention to the pervasive social determinants of health, it cannot function economically."

"We are at a rare moment in history when important decisions are being made that will impact doctors, their patients and the entire health care delivery system for many years to come, if not forever," said Lou Goodman, PhD, President of The Physicians Foundation. "The Physicians Foundation commissioned this report in order to bring new perspectives to the discussions of health care reform. We believe that the report will add richness to the policy discussions as they resume this fall."

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