WASHINGTON, D.C. —HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg will serve as research director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform—an initiative of the International Union, UAW; Chrysler Group LLC; Ford Motor Company; and General Motors to conduct high–quality, objective health policy research and analyses to improve the organization, financing and delivery of U.S. health care.
The newly formed Institute’s mission includes helping to inform policy makers and other decision makers about how to expand access to high–quality, affordable health coverage to all Americans.
“I’m honored to help guide and lead the implementation of the National Institute for Health Care Reform’s health policy research agenda,” Ginsburg said. “My new role with the Institute complements my responsibilities as HSC president and is a natural fit with HSC’s mission to inform policy makers about how changes in the health care system affect people.”
The Institute has contracted with HSC to conduct both health policy research and policy analyses, which will meet HSC’s rigorous standards for quality and objectivity. The Institute does not take policy positions and, similar to HSC, strives to be an honest broker of information and a reliable resource for decision makers on all sides of the critical issues facing the U.S. health care system. More information about the Institute is available online at www.nihcr.org.
The Institute will conduct quantitative and qualitative research and analyses covering a broad range of health policy issues. The Institute’s first policy analysis, Rough Passage: Affordable Health Coverage for Near–Elderly Americans, was published in September by HSC and is available online at www.nihcr.org. Upcoming Institute projects include an analysis of episode–based payments as a bridge to broader provider–payment reform; a study of effective employer health and wellness initiatives; and an analysis of how comparative–effectiveness research can help foster desirable medical innovation. The Institute also will cosponsor HSC’s 2010 site visits with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. HSC has been tracking changes in the health care markets of 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities since 1996 through the site visits.
Incorporated in the state of Michigan, the Institute is governed by a six–member Board of Directors, with the UAW appointing three directors and each of the companies appointing one director.
“The union and the auto companies are responsible for providing health benefits for millions of Americans and have a common goal of wanting the U.S. health care system to provide high–quality, affordable care,” said Alan Reuther, co–chair of the Institute board and UAW legislative director. “We have created the Institute to identify key health policy issues and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of various policy options to help inform policy makers and other decision makers.”
Garry Mason, executive administrative assistant to the UAW president, and Linda Ewing, the UAW’s research and social security director, also serve as Institute board members.
“General Motors believes that high–quality, credible health policy research and analyses can provide critical information for policy makers to help improve the overall quality and affordability of the U.S. health care system,” said Janice Uhlig, co–chair of the Institute and executive director of health care at GM. “We believe the Center for Studying Health System Change, with its strong reputation for quality and objective research, is the right organization to carry out the Institute’s research agenda.”
“Like many large employers, Chrysler Group believes that improving the quality and affordability of health care is a critical competitive issue facing employers across the country,” said Kathleen S. Neal, Institute board member and director of integrated health care & disability at Chrysler Group LLC. “We believe the National Institute for Health Care Reform can play an important role in identifying ways to get better value from the health care system for all Americans.”
Likewise, Rick Popp, an Institute board member and director of employee benefits at Ford, said, “Ford is excited about taking an active role in advancing health policy research that can help improve the health care system for all Americans.”
Founded in 1995, HSC for many years was solely funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and while RWJF remains a significant funder, HSC now also conducts research consistent with its mission for other organizations. To maintain its reputation for high–quality, independent and nonpartisan research, HSC only accepts funding when it retains the right to publish all research results.
“The selection of HSC to carry out the National Institute for Health Care Reform’s research agenda is a real vote of confidence in HSC and the impact the organization has had on informing health policy over the last 15 years,” said David C. Colby, Ph.D., RWJF vice president of research and evaluation.