Counties across the country see need for equity in healthcare services for underserved communities.
Today at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2023 Annual Conference representatives from across the country voted on amendments to The 2022-2023 American County Platform, that could help counties eliminate health disparities and create equitable access to care for residents. Once all changes are agreed, the new platform document for the 2023-2024 year will guide NACo advocacy teams in representing county interests at the federal level through July 2024. In essence, these are the marching orders of the counties to the NACo policy experts when they descend on Capitol Hill seeking solutions for local governments.
A change from this morning was adopted in the Health Policy Reform section of the platform on page 96 of the 213-page document. The adjustments added more substantive examples of the specific kinds of reforms that NACo will be targeting under the category of Health Equity and Health Disparity Reduction. The resolution includes 8 major provisions:
- Promote and fund data collection on health disparities
- Improve access and quality of care based on cultural differences and language
- Improve diversity and quality of the nation’s health care workforce
- Address systemic barriers to care based on disparities
- Improve health outcomes for women, children, and families in underserved communities
- Strengthen protective factors and resources that bolster mental health for vulnerable populations
- Address high impact minority diseases
- Evaluate and provide funding for improvements in health system technology in underserved communities
More changes are likely to be announced soon as the proposed resolutions spanned a number of different categories on the meeting agenda this morning in Austin, Texas.