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State of U.S. Health Care is in Crisis; The Physicians Foundation Calls for Convergence of Efforts to Address Drivers of Health

The Physicians Foundation Continues to Champion Solutions to Create Change

BOSTON, April 23, 2024 – Today, The Physicians Foundation calls for a need to collectively address drivers of health (DOH) throughout the United States, as research continues to suggest the health of individuals across the country is in crisis. The Physicians Foundation remains steadfast in its dedication to comprehensively address patients’ DOH, such as food security and transportation access, improving patient outcomes and ultimately lowering U.S. health care costs through practical solutions. As part of its commitment to address DOH, The Physicians Foundation announces the following milestones that will advance how we pay for and deliver care to improve health: 

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) inclusion of two Foundation-led measures in the Physician Fee Schedule to help physicians address patients’ DOH.
  • New grant funding to two medical associations to develop state level capacity, resources and data-collection to support physicians in integrating DOH screenings and resource navigation into medical practices.
  • New Physicians Foundation fellow, Deborah Rose, MD, to advance research on DOH screening.

“The current health care environment is not sustainable for physician practice or to improve health outcomes for patients,” said Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation. “Not only does physician wellbeing for both current and future physicians remain low, but the health of individuals across the U.S. is in crisis. Despite spending more on health care than other high-income nations, we continue to see a dangerous lack of support for primary care, shortfalls in patient access to care and enduring health disparities, which have a momentous negative impact on health outcomes. Addressing drivers of health is critical to improve the overall health of people across our nation and to achieve greater health equity.”

Medicare Expands Navigation to Community Resources

Fortunately, over the past year, federal payment programs continue to adapt paths to measure and address DOH, including through community health integration services as part of the 2024 Physician Fee Schedule. This recent update is in alignment with recommendations proposed by The Physicians Foundation for Medicare to pay for navigation to community resources, which correspond to The Physicians Foundation’s practical recommendations to address DOH: Improving America’s Health Care System: Recognize the Realities of Patients’ Lives and Invest in Addressing Drivers of Health.

Additionally, The Physicians Foundation continues to champion the inclusion of quality improvement measures related to DOH and to expanding physicians’ ability to address DOH through innovative interventions and expanded navigation services. 

Let’s Take 5 Resources Updated to Better Support Physicians 

In accordance with new Medicare rules that have been implemented in 2024, The Physicians Foundation updated its resources created for Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health, a campaign to support physicians and their colleagues in addressing their patients’ DOH. 

The Physicians Foundation encourages all current and future physicians to explore these resources and share them with their peers and networks: 

Two New Grantees Empowered to Tackle DOH

In addition to the resources provided through the Let’s Take 5 campaign, The Physicians Foundation is supporting on-the-ground initiatives to address DOH through its grant program for medical associations. This year, The Physicians Foundation selected two new grantees, the Medical Society of Northern Virginia Foundation and Healthy Rural California (Butte-Glenn Medical Society), to continue efforts to develop capacity, resources and data collection that support physicians in their understanding of DOH and the integration of DOH into their medical practices as part of regular patient care. These grantees will provide updates throughout their programs to offer practical solutions for other practices to apply in their own offices.

Additionally, The Physicians Foundation recently collaborated with five other DOH grantees to provide updates on how DOH integration has worked in their practices across different states in the last year. Read their Success Stories, which are being showcased as part of a new resource from Let’s Take Five, to learn about some of their innovative solutions to DOH integration—such as creating local resource guides to support patients managing chronic conditions or developing a digital app for health care teams. 

New Fellow Selected to Champion DOH Integration

As part of this focus, The Physicians Foundation is excited to announce its new fellow, Deborah Rose, MD, who will develop and implement a project that supports physicians in their understanding of DOH and integration into medical practices. 

“As physicians, it is crucial that we consider patients’ drivers of health when treating their illnesses,” Dr. Rose said. “Recently, during a conversation with a patient, I learned that she was struggling to afford her medications and did not have access to consistent transportation, which prevented her from attending medical appointments. Due to these barriers, she was likely experiencing dangerously elevated blood pressure and blood sugar for some time, putting her at risk of life-threatening complications. In this situation, and so many others, it was critical for my patient’s treatment that we addressed her drivers of health.”

During her fellowship, Dr. Rose will build upon her experience by advancing research and practical resources that address DOH and their impact on health care.

“In my fellowship with The Physicians Foundation, I look forward to building more understanding on how to address these drivers so that physicians everywhere can truly make a difference for all patients—no matter where they live,” Dr. Rose said.

To ensure that all patients throughout the U.S. have access to quality, affordable care, there is an urgent need to assemble organizations from across the health care industry to leverage their expertise and address the complex issues at hand for U.S. health care. Learn more about The Physicians Foundation’s efforts in physician-led solutions here.

About The Physicians Foundation

The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help them facilitate the delivery of high-quality health care to patients. As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in strengthening the physician-patient relationship, supporting medical practices’ sustainability and helping physicians navigate the changing health care system. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through research, education and innovative grant making that improves physician wellbeing, strengthens physician leadership, addresses drivers of health and lifts physician perspectives. For more information, visit

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