This week marks one year since the U.S. declared a national emergency for COVID-19. The president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans looked back on that year as his organization kicked off its virtual National Health Policy Conference on Tuesday.
Matt Eyles noted his organization’s commitment to fighting health care inequity as well as to educate Americans on the COVID-19 vaccine. AHIP, along with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, launched the Vaccine Community Connectors initiative. The goals of the initiative include:
- Ensuring the vaccination of 2 million Americans age 65 and older in the most at-risk and underserved communities, and focusing on improving health and racial equity in the administration of the vaccines.
- Identifying and engaging older Americans who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and live in areas where vaccination rates are the most inequitable.
- Working with partners in those communities to educate older Americans on the safety, efficacy and value of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Contacting older Americans to help them understand how to get a vaccine, help them get an appointment and help overcome barriers such as a lack of transportation.
Eyles reflected on the five sustainable improvements for better care and discussed how the experiences of the past year can lead to better health care for everyone. Those five improvements are:
- Working together to improve health equity.
- Extended use of telehealth.
- Growing awareness of the importance of mental and behavioral health.
- Growing adoption of value-based care.
- Strengthening America’s existing system of coverage and care.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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