What the Biden administration urgently needs to address in health care
In the February 2021 edition, Health Affairs presented a collection of papers from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) for their Vital Directions for Health and Health Care project.
While originally established in 2016, NAM reassessed its priorities and found a vastly different health care landscape in 2020. Not only had the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through the health care ecosystem nationwide, but issues regarding maternal health, mental health, and elder care surfaced as pressing concerns. And, as always, health costs and financing was flagged for appraisal.
But, as Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, and colleagues note in their opening commentary, health equity was present throughout every priority.
The collection of commentaries from NAM sets forth health and health care priorities for 2021 and the new Biden administration. Vital Directions for Health and Health Care: Priorities For 2021 identifies the overarching theme of this series as the clear and urgent obligation for the US to turn its full attention to the growing problem of health inequities and to the structural racism that perpetuates health disparities.
On this episode of A Health Podyssey, listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview Dr. Victor Dzau on the new Vital Directions publication, why health equity is fundamental for shaping health system reform, and how converging science disciplines will shape the field of health and medicine.