Recommendations result from summit of private-sector, nonprofit, and government organizations convened by the Healthcare Leadership Council
Washington, D.C.—Experts from across healthcare have identified specific policy and regulatory recommendations to improve the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to future health crises. The recommendations are part of a new report released by the Healthcare Leadership Council and Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and result from collaboration with more than 100 private-sector, nonprofit, and government organizations and stakeholders to assess the response to COVID-19 and the nation’s existing disaster preparedness infrastructure.
The recommendations include some temporary steps taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which have proven beneficial and should be made permanent going forward, the experts say. These include making it easier for public and private organizations to work in partnership, prioritizing supply chain readiness before crises arise, streamlining regulations that allow providers to practice medicine where they are needed most without unwieldy state licensure concerns, and enabling hospitals to meet the needs of all patients during times of surge capacity.
“Public emergencies will continue to happen and may become more frequent and severe,” said Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council. “The next pandemic, natural disaster, or global crisis can be handled more effectively with better preparedness. That begins with the government at all levels and the private sector taking action now, while lessons from COVID-19 are still being learned.”
Among the report’s recommendations, experts highlight the following essential changes:
- Launching a standing disaster preparedness group, appointed by and working with the White House, that will include private sector expertise in areas such as production capacity, supply chain and distribution, data exchange, financing and acute care delivery.
- Modernizing the healthcare supply chain through digitalization, automation, and predictive analytics, with standardized approaches for allocating resources based on need and equity to prevent bidding wars between states and healthcare providers.
- Creating measures to ensure health equity and address disparities, identifying high-risk vulnerable populations and directing resources accordingly.
- Improving economic resilience with strategic incentives such as zero percent loans, federally guaranteed purchase commitments, and geographic diversification of production for critical medical products.
- Building a 21st century public health early warning system that will utilize all available electronic health records and public health data collection.
- Passing legislation and regulatory reform to create rapid response capabilities in areas such as medical licensure portability, telehealth accessibility, and swift access to PPE stockpiles.
- Making it easier and more secure for private industry and government to share data by updating anti-trust laws, enacting strong privacy protections, and ensuring broad access to the data.
The report authors note that private-public partnerships have been essential during the ongoing response to COVID-19 and the recommendations included in the report have buy-in from private-sector, nonprofit, and government stakeholders.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and immediate response has exposed vulnerabilities in the nation’s ability to handle a national-scale crisis,” said Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, the founding director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. “A positive sign was the organizations and people in the healthcare space who typically are competitors showing willingness to work together for the good of all Americans.”
To learn more about the recommendations, access the full report.
Contributors and Participants:
AdvaMed · AdventHealth · Aetna, a CVS Health Company · Aledade · American Academy of Pediatrics · American Clinical Laboratory Association · American College of Emergency Physicians · American Health Care Association · American Hospital Association · American Medical Association · American Pharmacists Association · American Public Health Association · America’s Blood Centers · America’s Health Insurance Plans · AmerisourceBergen · Amgen · AMN Healthcare · Anthem · Ascension · Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness · Association of American Medical Colleges · Atrium Health · Baxter · Biogen · Biotechnology Innovation Organization · Bipartisan Policy Center · BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina · BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee · Bristol Myers Squibb · Business Roundtable · CDC Foundation · Centers for Disease Control and Prevention · Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services · Change Healthcare · Cigna/Express Scripts · City of Hope · Civica Rx · Cleveland Clinic · ConnectiveRx · Cotiviti · Deloitte · Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy · ELITE Strategic Services · Epic · Fairview Health Services · Federation of American Hospitals · Genentech · Guardant Health · HCA Healthcare · Health Distribution Alliance · Health Industry Distributors Association · Health Management Systems · Healthcare Leadership Council · Healthcare Ready · In-Q-Tel · IQVIA · Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory · Johnson & Johnson · LabCorp · Leidos · Leslie Platt & Associates · Magellan Health · Mallinckrodt · Marshfield Clinic Health System · Mayo Clinic · McKesson · Medidata Solutions · Medtronic · MemorialCare Health System · Merck · Mount Sinai Health System · National Alliance on Mental Illness · National Association of Chain Drug Stores · National Association of Manufacturers · National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences · National Governors Association · National Health Council · National Minority Quality Forum · New York-Presbyterian Hospital · NorthShore University HealthSystem · Office of HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response · Pfizer · Pharmaceutical Care Management Association · Pharmacy HIT Collaborative · PhRMA · Premier Healthcare Alliance · Primary Care Collaborative · SCAN Health Plan · Section 32 · Senior Helpers · SSM Health · Stryker · Surescripts · Teledoc Health · Texas Health Resources · The Joint Commission · Thermo Fisher Scientific · The Sequoia Project · Tivity Health · U.S. Department of Health and Human Services · U.S. Department of Homeland Security · UCB · University of Nebraska Medical Center · Vineti · Vizient · ZS Associates
For Immediate Release
February 4, 2021
Contact: Kelly Fernandez 202-449-3452