PAMED'S Eight Essential Principles of Health System Reform

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2019

Any reforms to the nation's health system must be properly funded, increase efficiency, make coverage available and affordable, and provide care that’s based on expert consensus or evidence. 

That is some of the guidance to be drawn from "The Eight Essential Principles of Health System Reform." 

"We needed a brief, succinct list of the health reform measures that we feel are truly essential," said Daniel J. Glunk, MD, past president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. "Without these guidelines, how could we possibly analyze health system reform legislation with any kind of objectivity?" 

The guiding principles are:

  1. Health care coverage should be available and affordable to all American citizens and legal residents.
  2. Patient care should be based on either demonstrated evidence of, or expert consensus on safety, efficacy and effectiveness.
  3. Health care business transactions and administrative processes should be transparent and use available technology to facilitate information sharing, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.
  4. Health care expenditures should be adequate to improve population-based outcomes, sustain research and innovation, and support workforce training needs.
  5. Health care delivery markets should be constructed to be competitive, thus increasing efficiency, innovation and quality as well as reinforcing a physician’s ability to compete.
  6. Comprehensive medical liability reform is essential.
  7. The health care system must ensure the choice of provider and health plan or care system.
  8. The health care system must promote the patient/physician relationship with an emphasis on physician-directed primary and specialty care.


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