ACP's two-pronged plan includes specific and achievable proposals to continue to advance the progress being made in expanding affordable coverage, lowering costs, recruiting and retaining primary care physicians, and reforming physician payment systems.
National leaders must reduce barriers to the patient-physician relationship, which will help accomplish the only genuine purpose of health reform, putting the interests of patients first, says Bob Doherty, ACP's senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy.
"It simply is unacceptable that the political divisions in Washington have caused a recurring series of wholly unnecessary budget impasses that imperil the health and safety of the American people," Doherty says.
According to Bronson, the ACP says improving the lot of individual physicians is key to improving the healthcare system overall.
"Systemwide efforts to improve the healthcare system won't succeed on their own in improving access and quality if the physicians that the system is counting on to deliver are over-hassled, over-stressed, harried, hushed, and rushed," Bronson said. "ACP views necessary strategic health reform improvements and results not from a partisan or ideological perspective, but from the standpoint of what the evidence tells us will be the most effective course of action."
To that end, ACP is calling on Congress to involve physicians in an effort to improve quality reporting programs-and that will require reducing administrative barriers and improving bonus programs, ACP says.