Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on expanding health care in the Commonwealth

Massachusetts Medical Society on expanding health care in the Commonwealth

The Massachusetts Medical Society appreciates the opportunity to work alongside Gov. Baker and his administration as part of the Healthcare Reopening Provider Advisory Group to help plan for the safe and thoughtful expansion of medical care for individuals in the Commonwealth. The guidelines announced today represent an important step forward in expanding needed opportunities for health and health care.

The guidelines rightfully prioritize the safety of individuals above all while increasing access to high-priority preventive care and other urgent procedures and services. The expansion of medical practice must proceed in a collaborative manner among patients, physicians, policymakers, and all who engage with and comprise the health care system. The pace and direction of expansion must be flexible and adhere to best practices in safety, infection control, and public health.

The phased approach to expanding the health care system effectively and thoughtfully encourages physicians to continue to make use of virtual care and telehealth whenever possible while allowing the use of clinical judgment to determine whether in-person care is necessary. Importantly, the guidelines expand availability of in-person care for many of our most vulnerable patients, which will help mitigate inequities in access to timely, quality care.

On behalf of the physician community, we express our sincere thanks to those who have made and continue to make difficult personal sacrifices by adhering to social distancing measures that have helped ensure that our health care system is able to care for those in need. We look forward to continuing our work with leaders from across the Commonwealth to further expand all opportunities for health, including health care.

-Maryanne C. Bombaugh, MD, MSc, MBA, FACOG, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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