As the United States continues to address immediate public health and safety needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser Permanente is also looking to the future and modeling the way to a health care system that is sustainable and could meet the needs of many more people in our country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many weaknesses in our medical care system and public health infrastructure. It has also highlighted that it is time to turn the page on the flawed concept of fee-for-service reimbursement and instead embrace new models of payment and organization to create a more resilient and responsive health care system that better balances health care and public health.
We should seize this chance to foster stability for the millions who have gained comprehensive coverage over the past decade and focus on the gaps that remain. Anthony A. Barrueta
Every day we see how the pandemic is affecting the physical and mental health of our colleagues and members. As we look to the future, we must ensure not only that individuals have health care coverage but also that they can access care and focus on their total health and well-being. The pandemic has clarified our need to produce better and more equitable health care outcomes beyond the delivery of medical services alone. This means investing in public health, community health, and mental health — so everyone can live healthier lives.