Epidemic Preparedness And European Health Insurance: Lessons From Recent Outbreaks

Epidemic Preparedness And European Health Insurance: Lessons From Recent Outbreaks – By Karen DeSalvo, Bob Hughes, Mary Bassett, Georges Benjamin, Michael Fraser, Sandro Galea, J. Nadine Gracia and Jeffrey Howard

The increase in life expectancy and quality of life throughout American history can be attributed to forward-looking investments in public health infrastructure [1]. For example, the creation of municipal public health authorities in the 19th century promoted improvements in hygiene and reduced the burden of infectious diseases such as typhus and cholera. Similarly, strategies to promote healthier environments and improve access to clinical services have improved the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. In addressing every population health problem, the public health sector plays a multifaceted role, from tracking the causes and consequences of disease (e.g. the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System) to convening stakeholders across sectors to develop coordinated solutions (e.g. with housing authorities). , to inform policy makers and the public about best practices (e.g. resources to support tobacco cessation) [2, 3, 4].

Epidemic Preparedness And European Health Insurance: Lessons From Recent Outbreaks


Epidemic Preparedness And European Health Insurance: Lessons From Recent Outbreaks

These interdisciplinary functions are more important than ever because of the complexity and scope of population health problems in the modern era. For the first time in several generations, life expectancy in the United States (US) has begun to decline, with increasing drug overdose rates and the growing burden of chronic disease being the primary drivers [5]. In parallel, evidence continues to accumulate of disparities in health outcomes across racial groups and socioeconomic strata, highlighting the need for health interventions that address both medical (eg, health behaviors, environmental influences) and non-medical (eg, housing, transportation) factors. ) drivers of worse health [6, 7].

Global Investments In Pandemic Preparedness And Covid 19: Development Assistance And Domestic Spending On Health Between 1990 And 2026

Yet as the need for a robust public health infrastructure grew, federal investment in public health capacity declined, with health departments operating under persistent and widening resource gaps for decades. Chronically insufficient funding, labor shortages and outdated infrastructure limit the sector’s ability to address the current health needs of the population and its flexibility to respond to emergency situations [8]. COVID-19 has re-exposed and deepened these long-standing challenges, while also illuminating the pervasive racial and socioeconomic disparities in access, quality, and outcomes of health care in the U.S. While the Department of Health has been the backbone of the nation’s response to the pandemic (advice development, testing, and follow-up), the sector has struggled with many problems with causes both old (eg gaps in information technology) and new (eg politicization and mistrust of public health leaders and counselling). From the subversion of the public health mandate to the vilification of public health officials to the neglect of public health capabilities, the pandemic illustrated the need for structural reforms to restore the essential role of the public health sector in American communities.

This discussion paper seeks to explore the experience of the public health sector during COVID-19, examine how legacy systems and policies have shaped the sector’s ability to respond, highlight the key contributions and challenges of health departments during the pandemic, and identify priority areas and policy considerations to enable the sector to be better prepared to cover the health needs of the population in the 21st century.

In America, public health functions are inextricably linked to various forms of health department administration and operations. While health departments faced numerous challenges during COVID-19, the roots of these problems—institutional strengths, inflexible financial flows, unclear authority, and neglected infrastructure and workforce development—long predated the pandemic. Consequently, understanding the barriers to and learning from pandemic response requires first establishing the public health ecosystem leading up to the pandemic. This section outlines the structural and policy context of the sector, focusing on (1) public health mandate and governance and (2) functions and funding.

Defined the mission of public health in the US as “the fulfillment of society’s interest in providing conditions in which people can be healthy” [9]. To translate this aspiration into action, the nation has developed a complex system of governance composed of a diverse set of local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal agencies and authorities, all of which work together to improve public health [10, 11] . While a comprehensive and inclusive approach to public health management is needed in the post-pandemic era, the authors represented in this article will focus primarily on the experiences and perspectives of local and state health authorities during COVID-19.

Is Geography Our Destiny In The Next Pandemic?

Public health management in America is local in origin, with municipal boards of health pioneering sanitary advances and cities and states developing laboratory capacity to support outbreak control. National initiatives for specific public health needs (eg, tuberculosis control, HIV/AIDS) and emerging interdependencies between public sector health, medical, and social programs (eg, partnerships between health departments and state Medicaid programs) have increased federal government involvement. in the field of public health. However, while federal funding mechanisms (eg, block grants) generally emphasize state responsibility, a national policy environment that favors cost containment limits the capacity of state health authorities to respond to emerging public health needs [9].

Today, the organization of functions, delivery of services, and availability of resources for public health in the US vary greatly due to the size of the country and the heterogeneity of community needs and demographics. The day-to-day management and administration of public health is shared between 59 recognized state and territory health authorities and an estimated 2,500 local health agencies across the country [12, 13]. While this decentralized model may offer advantages by emphasizing the local context, health authorities are hampered by an uneven distribution of powers and core public health capabilities. From an operational point of view, state and local administrative structures for public health can generally be described by four models: centralized, decentralized (or local government), mixed, and shared (see

) [14]. For example, Rhode Island can be considered a “centralized” model because it operates as a unified local and state health agency, while Massachusetts can be described as a “decentralized” model where decision-making authority is largely retained by the 351 local health agencies across the state [14, 15] . In terms of resources, public health funding varies widely across countries. For example, state public health spending per capita in 2019 ranged from $7 in Missouri to $140 in New Mexico [157].

Epidemic Preparedness And European Health Insurance: Lessons From Recent Outbreaks

In parallel with local public health efforts, there are national initiatives led by the federal government. These include supporting core public health functions, facilitating pre-decision and deliberative planning processes (including local and state health agencies) to prepare for public health threats, establishing national health priorities (e.g. Healthy People 2030 goals), promoting collaboration between states and the allocation of resources for public health and health care programs.

Potential Lessons From The Taiwan And New Zealand Health Responses To The Covid 19 Pandemic

While there are many models of public health management, it is clear that the system as it is currently configured—with its origins in another era of diverse population health challenges—is not optimally designed to meet the needs of American communities in the 21st century. Of course, health departments should be tailored to the needs of their local constituencies. However, while agencies may differ in form, they should not differ in their core functions. Significant differences in how health departments make decisions (described above) and what resources they have available to provide services to their communities (described below) contributed to heterogeneous outcomes before and during the pandemic.

Policymakers and public health leaders have developed a variety of tools to achieve compliance with the public health mandate and public health governance, from accreditation programs to frameworks outlining minimum services and capabilities for all health departments [16]. Still, these efforts struggled to reach scale; for example, nearly one-third of state health authorities and the majority of local health authorities have chosen not to participate in the national voluntary accreditation program, in part because of the cost and staffing requirements required to complete the accreditation process [17, 18]. As a result, initiatives to promote unified standards without commensurate attention to the chronic funding gaps that account for variations in basic public health capabilities risk increasing the reporting burden on health departments without addressing their underlying needs. The next section, “Functions and Funding,” outlines how such a lack of systemic resources for American public health, along with the governance challenges described in this section, set the stage for pandemic challenges.

Public health functions in America are described by a framework for “core” and “core” public health services. Developed in 1994 and updated in 2020, the “core” public health services outline the key domains and focus areas of the public health mission (eg, investigating health risks and their root causes), with an equity focus that focuses on design and delivery of each service. In 2012, the IOM recommended that experts characterize the skills, capabilities, and services that health departments need to operationalize the goals of the “core” framework for public health services [20]. To this end, the Public Health Leadership Forum developed the Public Health “Core” Services Framework, which details capabilities (e.g. emergency preparedness and response) and program areas (e.g.

Departments should have, in addition to services, tailored to the unique needs of the communities they serve [10, 11].

Lessons From The App Store

Represents these two frameworks, which together provide guidance to health departments on what their responsibilities are (‘core’ services) and how they can

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