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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Friday, December 19, 2014
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About Health Policy Studies

Health Policy Studies

Health Policy Studies, a program of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, provides relevant, nonpartisan research and analysis of state health policy issues for New York State and national policymakers. With funding support from the New York State Health Foundation and other foundations, Health Policy Studies has used its in-house staff of health policy experts, as well as national experts, to build on the Rockefeller Institute’s strength in analyzing the role of state and local governments in financing, administering, and regulating state health care systems. Health Policy Studies releases research papers and presents forums and presentations on important state health policy issues, and also provides a resource page for New York State and national health policymakers. Much of Health Policy Studie’s work builds on its ongoing Medicaid and bioethics research.

Selected Research:


Reducing Variation in Medicaid Asset Transfer Rates: Research previously conducted by the Rockefeller Institute revealed that there are large disparities among counties’ Medicaid eligibility denial rates for nursing home care that could not be explained by demographic factors. This project used county-level field research to learn more about county processes for Medicaid nursing home eligibility to determine a) why counties differ in denial rates for Medicaid nursing care because of asset transfer; b) whether the answers suggest policy or administrative actions that could reduce variation; and c) whether reducing variation in denial rates might increase or decrease Medicaid costs, and whether there may be best practices that could be shared among the counties or with state officials. This project was funded by the NYS Health Foundation.

Options for Financing, Reforming and Affording Small Group Insurance Market Reforms in New York: This project, funded by the NYS Health Foundation, built on Health Policy Studies’s learning and experience in Phase I, Improving Access to Health Insurance Coverage in the Small Group Insurance Market. The goal of this project was to develop products for policymakers that are useful for informing decisions about how to increase access to health insurance in New York. The three products that were developed in Phase II included: (1) a report on options for financing health coverage expansions; (2) an assessment of the strengths and shortcomings of different strategies designed to minimize the effects of high-cost cases in the small group and individual markets, including reinsurance, high-risk pools, and merging the small group and individual markets; and (3) options for small group insurance market product standardization.

Improving Access to Health Insurance Coverage in the Small Group Insurance Market: Health Policy Studies staff and national experts studied policies and programs in New York and other states that attempt to increase health insurance coverage for small business owners and employees. The project was part of a larger effort, the “Coverage Consortium,” funded by the NYS Health Foundation, to research successful methods for covering the uninsured.

Providing and Facilitating Health Policy Research Efforts for New York State: Health Policy Studies worked collaboratively with the New York State Department of Health to examine state long-term care (LTC) efforts. Health Policy Studies developed two projects that examined states’ LTC policies and expenditures. This work also was supported by the NYS Health Foundation.

Bioethics: Health Policy Studies is examining the current and potential role of states in the development and implementation of bioethical standards for such complex and controversial areas as embryonic stem cell research and nanotechnology. This initiative is a partnership with the Union-Mount Sinai Bioethics Program. It includes collaborators from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Union Graduate College, and Albany Law School. For more information about the Center's bioethics research, please contact Jim Fossett.

Medicaid: The Medicaid research of the Health Policy Studies has examined a wide range of issues from Medicaid politics and finances, the role of Medicaid in financing the activities of faith-affiliated organizations, the effectiveness of efforts in many states to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid and nonprofit organizations, long-term care, and the implementation of Medicaid managed care.

State Health Policy & Intergovernmental Relations: The Institute continually researches and publishes articles on the role of state government in health policy and the interaction between levels of government in the policymaking process. For more information, please visit the Health Policy Studies publications section.

Implementation of the Commission on Health Care Facilities for the 21st Century: The Berger Commission developed recommendations in 2006 for rightsizing and reconfiguring New York State’s acute and long-term care systems. The Institute, whose staff participated in the Regional Advisory Committee for the Commission, has monitored implementation.