The Program for Healthcare Policy and Implementation was established in 2011 with a mission to provide rigorous, evidence-based examinations of today’s most critical health care policy issues.
The Program for Healthcare Policy and Implementation is dedicated to providing policymakers, health care providers, purchasers, and community leaders with information they need to improve access to high-quality, affordable health care. Our faculty includes health policy and health services researchers, economists, and clinicians. They are engaged in a variety of projects focused on issues relating to the uninsured, delivery and payment reform, quality of care, health technology, and the impact of changes in the health care market on providers and patients.
Additionally, the center supports and trains graduate students affiliated with the Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research program.
Aligning Forces for Quality – Evaluation of Quality Improvement
Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to improve the quality of health care in 16 targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform. Through surveys, interviews, and site visits, researchers from the Program for Health Policy are evaluating the impact of AF4Q. Specifically, they are investigating whether AF4Q communities were successful in creating sustainable quality improvement infrastructures, providers in AF4Q communities adopted patient-centered medical homes and electronic health records at a greater rate than in other communities, and consumers in AF4Q communities experienced improved health outcomes.
Assessing the Impact of Medicare’s Hospital Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing Program
In April 2011, CMS issued a final rule to implement the Hospital Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, the first mandatory, national effort to establish rewards and penalties for hospitals based on performance. Timely assessment of the VBP Program is important as policy-makers propose modifications to it over time (e.g., number of performance measures included, size of the incentives, hospital scoring methodology), and as they create similar VBP programs for ambulatory care providers. Researchers from the Program for Health Policy are conducting a study to investigate how the policy will affect different types of hospitals (e.g., safety net vs. non-safety net hospitals).
Reports and Publications
McHugh M, VanDyke K, Osei-Anto A, Haque A. Medicare’s Payment Policy for Hospital Acquired Conditions: Perspectives of Administrators from Safety Net Hospitals. Medical Care Research and Review, forthcoming.
Garman A, McAlearney A, Harrison M, Song P, McHugh M. Toward a High-performance Management System in Health Care, Part One: Development of an Evidence-informed Model. Health Care Management Review, vol. 36, no. 3, July/September 2011.
McHugh M, Martin T, Orwat J, VanDyke K, Medicare’s Policy to Limit Payment for Hospital-Acquired Conditions: The Impact on Safety Net Providers. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, vol. 22, May 2011.
McHugh M, Osei-Anto A, Klabunde C, and Galen B. CT Colonography in U.S. Hospitals. Journal of the American College of Radiology, vol. 8, no.3, March 2011.
McHugh M, Joshi M. Improving Evaluations of Value-Based Purchasing Programs. Health Services Research, vol. 45, no.5, September 2010.
Claxton G, DiJulio B, Pickering J, Whitmore H, McHugh M
, Finder B, Osei-Anto A. Health Benefits in 2010: Premiums Increase Modestly, While More Workers Face High Deductibles and Pay More For Coverage. Health Affairs web exclusive, September 2, 2010.
Megan McHugh, PhD
Welcome to the Program for Healthcare Policy and Implementation in the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Our health care system is complex and changing rapidly due to the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act, the development of new delivery models, and on-going technological innovation. As a result, there is a great need for unbiased and independent research about the effect of these influences and others on health care cost, quality, and access.
The Program for Healthcare Policy and Implementation was established in 2011 with a mission to provide rigorous, evidence-based examinations of today’s most critical health care policy issues. Our research studies are designed to inform key stakeholders and educate the public, while developing timely and practical solutions to problems within the health care system. The Program also collaborates with the Center’s graduate programs by providing training to future health policy researchers.
Thank you very much for your interest in the Program’s work. We look forward to hearing from you.
Wishing you the best of health,
Megan McHugh, PhD
Director, Program for Healthcare Policy
Center for Healthcare Studies
750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611