The Academy is working with the administration and Congress, conveying priorities important to family physicians. AAFP advocacy is engaging with key staff, nominees, and other stakeholders to press for support on a number of primary care priorities. Among the areas of focus for the Academy in the administration:
COVID-19 has underscored the importance of all Americans having access to high-quality, affordable health care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has formed a foundation for a health care system that provides meaningful coverage, including preventive-services benefits and protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. The AAFP is committed to building on what works and redesigning what does not.
Primary care has never been more important than today, yet continues to face some of the greatest challenges to achieving viability in the health care system. The United States will need up to 48,000 more primary care physicians by 2034 in order to prevent shortages in the primary care workforce. The Academy will continue to work for creating a robust primary care workforce that is best positioned to serve all communities, including underserved and rural populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gaps in the nation’s health care system and the health impacts of systemic racism in our society, which must be corrected to ensure improved health for all Americans. The Academy is working to develop strategies that promote health equity through identifying and incorporating social determinants of health in all health care delivery systems, with the goal of prioritizing preventive care and management of chronic conditions.
The Academy recognizes the importance of improving both the efficiency and the effectiveness of care delivery. Through the expansion of delivery system and payment reforms, we can drive value for patients through continuous and comprehensive contact, with the goal of improving patients’ health outcomes and the doctor-patient experience. To be successful, reforms need to re-emphasize the importance of primary care and prevention.
COVID-19 has demonstrated the adaptability of serving patients outside traditional in-person visits. AAFP members have seen increased utilization of telemedicine and reported greater satisfaction with it as a tool to augment the doctor-patient experience. We believe the regulatory framework must be modernized to support the thoughtful integration of telehealth as part of a coordinated health care ecosystem.