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O'Connor J.C.,Deputy Public Health | Gutelius B.J.,Oregon Public Health Division | Girard K.E.,Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section | Hastings D.D.,Oregon Public Health Division | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics | Year: 2013

Despite spending an increasing amount on health care and more than every other industrialized country, the U.S. ranks 37th in health outcomes. The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) promises to ensure better access to health care for many Americans through expanded public and private insurance coverage, including basic preventive health care. Public health must seize this critical opportunity by taking steps to ensure that prevention, especially primary prevention, is embedded in our health system. This manuscript outlines four areas where public health officials across the U.S. can immediately capitalize on opportunities created by the ACA to ensure that prevention is a key component of health reform: (1) leading the way on community health assessments; (2) linking clinical and community prevention; (3) supporting the development of alternative payment methodologies to pay for prevention; and (4) serving as a community resource for the coordination of care and building the non-traditional health workforce. © 2013 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.

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