Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, cost, access, and equity warning signs already existed in Pennsylvania’s health care system. One in two of Pennsylvanians find it hard to pay their medical bills, and the commonwealth’s health care costs have been growing annually at a rate significantly above the annual statewide growth in gross domestic product (GDP). This results in Pennsylvania families and businesses paying more each year towards health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
The Interagency Health Reform Council (IHRC), created by an executive order Governor Tom Wolf signed on October 2, 2020 to address whole person health reform, recently presented its recommendations for how to shift this reality so that payment and health care delivery systems are aligned, costs are reduced, disparities tackled, and government and corporations better address the needs of the whole person.
“The recommendations of the council present a comprehensive look at how to address the needs of all Pennsylvanians and how we can make a healthier Pennsylvania a reality,” Gov. Wolf said. “If we do not consider everything about each person – their immediate health needs, the conditions they live in, and the environment they grew up in – we are only treating a small portion of what influences their health and well-being.”
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