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Editor's Comment
COVID-19

Coronavirus and Health Policy: A JAMA Network Interview

  • 1Editor, JAMA Health Forum
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Deputy Editor, JAMA Health Forum
  • 4Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee

When JAMA Health Forum launched 3 months ago, our inaugural Editor’s Comment welcomed readers around the world to this new web-based JAMA Network channel for health policy content. We shared our goal for the new channel “to serve as a timely, engaging, and influential venue for authors and readers to connect on the most important issues facing health care systems in the United States and other countries.”1 At that time, the local outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, was just beginning to emerge as a focus of global concern.

Last week we joined Howard Bauchner, MD, JAMA editor in chief, for an interview on coronavirus and health policy. During the short period between the launch of JAMA Health Forum and today, many countries have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with nearly 2.4 million confirmed cases and more than 165 000 deaths worldwide by April 19. As the pandemic has accelerated since mid-March, JAMA Health Forum has published many insightful commentaries on a broad range of health policy topics related to COVID-19, including the following widely read articles:

In our video conversation with Howard Bauchner, we discussed some of these recent JAMA Health Forum articles along with new developments in US health policy related to the pandemic. These topics included federal stimulus payments to hospitals and medical groups that have experienced steep drops in revenue, the elimination of patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, and the rapid adoption of telehealth services by health care systems and medical groups to deliver virtual primary and specialty care via telephone and video visits. We also discussed the need to strengthen public health systems and integrate them more effectively with health care systems to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we highlighted the looming stresses on health care costs and financing, including increased burdens on state budgets and the potential for greater consolidation in the health care industry.

As JAMA Health Forum moves forward, we continue to welcome prospective authors to submit novel Insights that address important health policy issues in the United States and around the globe—whether on COVID-19, the ongoing US presidential election, or innovations in health care financing and delivery.

References
1.
Ayanian  JZ, Buntin  MB. Welcome to JAMA Health Forum. JAMA Health Forum. Published January 23, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2759775
2.
Cavallo  JJ, Donoho  DA, Forman  HP. Hospital capacity and operations in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic—planning for the Nth patient. JAMA Health Forum. Published March 17, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2763353
3.
Mason  DJ, Friese  CR. Protecting health care workers against COVID-19—and being prepared for future pandemics. JAMA Health Forum. Published March 19, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2763478
4.
Barnett  ML, Grabowski  DC. Nursing homes are ground zero for COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Health Forum. Published March 24, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2763666
5.
Cutler  D. How will COVID-19 affect the health care economy? JAMA Health Forum. Published April 9, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764547
6.
Ayanian  JZ. Mental health needs of health care workers providing frontline COVID-19 care. JAMA Health Forum. Published April 1, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764228
7.
Keohane  LM. Expanding ventilator capacity—the need for state and regional planning. JAMA Health Forum. Published April 1, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764229
8.
DeVoe  JE, Cheng  A, Krist  A. Regional strategies for academic health centers to support primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a plea from the front lines. JAMA Health Forum. Published April 8, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764405
9.
Rummo  PE, Bragg  MA, Yi  SS. Supporting equitable food access during national emergencies—the promise of online grocery shopping and food delivery services. JAMA Health Forum. Published March 27, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2763856
10.
Gee  RE, Muncy  ML. Dashboards to support state health policymaking. JAMA Health Forum. Published April 20, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2765021
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