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ACP Urges Senate Committee to Lower Health Care Costs, Invest in High Value Primary Care

Washington, DC (March 1, 2019) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) responded to a request from the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) today for ideas on how to lower the price of health care for American patients and consumers. The recommendations that ACP outlined in their letter would work to lower health care costs, incentivize care to improve patient outcomes, and increase access to information so patients can make the best decisions for their health care needs.

“ACP appreciates that the Senate HELP Committee has held hearings on this important topic and is taking the time to avidly explore each issue,” said Ana María López, MD, MPH, MACP, President, American College of Physicians.

ACP firmly supports forward-thinking, bipartisan policies that will improve access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans. In the letter, ACP outlined priorities and potential bipartisan solutions to lower health care costs, including:

  • Investment in high value primary care to guide clinical decision making and promote greater transparency in pricing and outcomes of care, as well as continued support for testing and funding new value-based payment and delivery models
  • Expand access and coverage to ensure patient protections and essential health benefits remain in place, as well as support efforts to stabilize the health insurance marketplace
  • Support for a well-trained physician workforce with an emphasis on high value primary care while sustaining funding for graduate medical education and important public health programs such as the National Health Service Corps
  • Reduce the cost of prescription drugs by preventing practices that impede generic drugs from making it to the marketplace, increasing transparency, and stemming anti-competitive practices
  • Implement a framework to formally assess existing and new administrative tasks and work to reduce, streamline, or eliminate excessive and burdensome tasks on clinicians and patients by improving electronic health record interoperability, better integration of clinical data, and improving clinical documentation guidelines and prior authorization
  • Continue to improve the Quality Payment Program and facilitate meaningful improvement in patient outcomes while minimizing burden and costs in our health care system

“ACP believes that a patient-centered approach to expand access to affordable and quality care, reducing costly administrative burdens, supporting a well-trained physician workforce, and investing in high value primary care will truly put patients first,” said Dr. López. “ACP looks forward to serving as a resource and working with Congress as they continue to develop critical health policy that will impact patients and the communities that physicians serve.”

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-4523, jhirschhorn@acponline.org