Friday, June 19, 2009

On June 18, I took part in a discussion at the White House billed as a "Stakeholder Meeting with Physicians.” We discussed health reform, with an emphasis on prevention and health cost savings. The meeting was chaired by Michael Hash, Senior Adviser in the White House Office of Health Reforman and attended by Dr. Zeke Emanuel from the Office of Management and Budget, Dr. Bob Kocher from the National Economic Council, Dr. Kavita Patel from the Office of Public Engagement, and Dr. Dora Hughes from the Department of Health and Human Services.

There is strong commitment by the President to disease prevention and health promotion in health reform, with a good appreciation that this encompasses clinical prevention, community preventive services, and creating healthier communities.

There was widespread consensus among the participants that multiple strategies are needed, including reimbursing for clinical preventive services, creating financial incentives that reward primary care and prevention more and high tech procedures less, expanding the primary care and public health workforce, creating a sufficient and sustained funding source for our public health system and community preventive services, assessing the health impact of our non-health policies (transportation, food), increasing prevention research, and fostering better integration between Federal agencies and between clinicians and community resources.

There was also widespread agreement that there needs to be a focus on reducing tobacco and obesity if we are to reduce chronic disease rates and control future health care costs.

Corinne G. Husten, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President &
Chief Policy & Program Officer
Partnership for Prevention


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