RSG Projects

RSG projects reflect the diversity of issues that policymakers face as they improve the health of their communities. Every year, the RSG selects projects to work on that:

  • Relate to state health policy needs;
  • Have broad application across states;
  • Yield practical and timely results; and,
  • Adhere to the RSG’s values of bipartisanship and collegiality.

Here are the topics the RSG focused on, by year. (Note that several of the reports were published after the year the topic was selected).



  • Criminal justice and its impact on population health – State and local leaders are interested in developing new strategies to address the health and human needs of individuals involved in the criminal justice system, particularly those with significant mental health and substance abuse conditions.
  • Behavioral health workforce development – The demand for behavioral health services is increasing, but the number and type of health care providers supporting people with behavorial health needs is not keeping pace with population needs. Policymakers are interested in strategies that will help to recruit and retain behavioral health specialists to support the treatment of those with mental health and substance use disorder conditions. An issue brief was published on the topic.
  • Hospitals and population health – Payment and delivery system reforms are creating clearer accountability for hospitals in their efforts to improve population health by requiring them to take a more prominent role in disease prevention, health promotion, and other population health initiatives. They are also required to report their community benefits to justify their tax-exempt status and report on these activities to the federal and some state governments, but it is not easy to get or interpret these data.  In addition, Certificate of Need programs are not keeping pace with new health care delivery and payment models.  As hospital networks expand, different requirements may apply for hospitals that operate in numerous jurisdictions, creating inconsistencies in state policies.
  • Aging – The population in the United States is aging rapidly, presenting numerous challenges for health care providers, caregivers, government administrators, and policymakers. How can states plan for and address the growing aging population and their impact on state programs? In 2017, the RSG focused on state policies for family caregiving support.



  • Integrated Data Systems – Presentations from national experts and state leaders focused on developing integrated data systems that bring together health and human services data to inform policy and program decisions.
  • Behavioral Health Integration: State Operations – A technical assistance meeting was held, attended by state policymakers interested in learning about promising state operational and administrative models that provide integrated behavioral health and primary care services to people with severe mental illness and co-occuring disorders.
  • Aging in America: Presentations on rebalancing long-term services and supports, looking at the changing role of long-term care services and the innovative and promising solutions that states are implementing to support the growing need for these services. Presentations also focused on integrating Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Teleheath – A report on the impact of state private payer parity laws on expanded use and payment for telehealth services.
  • Letter to the New Administration – Members of the RSG endorsed a bipartisan agenda to improve population health. The four policy concepts developed suggest ways that state officials can partner with new federal executive branch leaders to improve population health. The recommendations can be implemented without new federal legislation and are designed to be cost neutral.



  • From Volume to Value: The Changing Role of Hospitals – A presentation on state hospital community benefit laws and its impact on population health.
  • Population Health in Medicaid Delivery System Reforms – A report on the strategies that inform accountable care organization (ACO) design and governance structures, program components, and metrics and promising early examples of states working to embed population health strategies in Medicaid ACOs.
  • How Community Health Workers and Community Paramedicine Improve Population Health – Presentations by state leaders and academic researchers on theemerging roles of community health workers and community paramedicine providers in strengthening networks of health care and providing patients with social support and education.


Prior to 2013