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.
- 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. Some of these challenges involve family caregiving.
- 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.
- Medicaid Coverage of Social Interventions: A Road Map for States – An issue brief about how and when Medicaid can cover and pay for non-clinical services that influence population health.
- Coordinating Access to Services for Justice-Involved Populations – An issue brief examining the intersection of health and corrections and the promising programs that have improved health outcomes and reduced recidivism for the justice-involved.
- How Can States Support an Aging Population? Actions Policymakers Can Take – A report based on presentations by national experts and state leaders on the challenges and opportunities facing states as they work to support an aging population. Topics include age-friendly communities, restructuring long-term services and supports, and palliative care.
- 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.
- Evolving Models of Behavioral Health Integration: Evidence Update 2010-2015 – A report on the research published between 2010-2015 on the integration of primary care and behavioral health through the collaborative care model.
- Integrating Primary Care into Behavioral Health Settings: What Works for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness – A report on the evidence concerning the integration of primary care into behavioral health settings for populations with serious mental illness.
- Exploring Claims that Medicaid Doesn’t Improve Health – A report examining the nature and quality of evidence presented in studies on the effectiveness of Medicaid to improve population health.
Prior to 2013
- Healthy States/Healthy Nation: Essays for a New Administration and New Congress (2009) – A collection of essays prepared by RSG policymakers for the new federal Administration.
- Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve (2008) – A report on maternity care in the US health care system and key indicators for improvement.
- 2002-2003 State Health Expenditure Report – A report on state health spending within the context of the nation’s provision of personal health care services.
- Making Sense of the System: How States Can Use Workforce Policies to Increase Access and Improve Quality of Care (2003) – A report examining the best available data about current and projected demand for health workers, including practical suggestions for policies to reduce shortages of health workers.
- 2000-2001 State Health Expenditure Report – A report on state health spending within the context of the nation’s provision of personal health care services.
- 1998-1999 State Health Expenditure Report – A report on state health spending within the context of the nation’s provision of personal health care services.