How Has the Field Responded to the 2012 Report on Public Health Financing?
by Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP
In 2012, President Obama was elected to his second term, ‘Obamacare’ was upheld by the Supreme Court, the Transit of Venus occurred, and Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee. Amidst this revelry, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, published three reports on public and population health. The reports focused on data measurement, law and policy and funding. While their publication may not have made the evening news, they laid out concrete recommendations that were immediately welcomed by the field as we looked to understand how public health practice has evolved and assert its vital role in improving the health and well-being of communities in a post-health reform world.
In the report: For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future (the Finance report), the IOM “assesses both the sources and adequacy of current government public health funding and identifies approaches to building a sustainable and sufficient public health presence going forward, while recognizing the importance of the other actors in the health system, including clinical care, governmental public health, and others.” The bottom line is that in order to improve health outcomes, we need to change the way we invest in health, focus on population-based prevention and provide adequate and sustainable funding for governmental public health departments.
Given PHNCI’s involvement with the foundational public health services (FPHS), born from the finance report, and with the shifts in public health practice that resulted from health reform, an increase in climate events, gun violence, the prevalence of the opioid epidemic and more, we wanted to see whether the recommendations in the Finance report were acted upon and had made an impact in public health practice.
Specifically, PHNCI was interested in (1) understanding which of the ten recommendations from the report have been further developed (2) learning what impact has been made from those developments, and (3) describing successes and challenges to the recommendations. To that end, we commissioned a paper and engaged public health finance expert JP Leider to work with a team of researchers [i] to reflect on progress toward each of 10 recommendations in the report, including the body of work that PHNCI leads on the foundational public health services. Click HERE to read the findings along with additional recommendations from the authors.
[i] Valerie Yeager, Jason Orr, Casey Balio, Betty Bekemeier, Mac McCullough, Beth Resnick and Simone Singh
Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP, is the Chief Innovations Officer for the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) at the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHNCI is designed to foster alignment and innovation in public health. In that role, she leads the development and implementation of strategy and operations for the Center. Ms. Fisher also contributes to, and connects PHNCI with, aspects of PHAB’s work with the accreditation program.