State strategies to contain health care costs and reform health systems are the focus of a new Midwestern Legislative Conference report, released last week in conjunction with the nonpartisan association’s four-day meeting in Rapid City, S.D.
Using case studies from each of the 11 Midwestern states, the report examines several key health care issues and highlights innovative efforts being implemented or explored in the region.
“Our nation’s health care system is ripe for transformation, innovation and reform, and as the case studies in this report show, this region and its policymakers can help lead the way,” said South Dakota Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tom Dempster, chair of the MLC.
“Practitioners of Change: Regional Case Studies in State Health Reform and Cost Containment” includes a look at how policymakers are:
- investing more in disease prevention and management programs,
- exploring ways to redesign their Medicaid and long-term care systems,
- advancing the use of health information technology,
- increasing access to health insurance coverage and preventive care,
- improving transparency and promoting “consumer-driven” health care,
- controlling costs related to prescription drugs and state employee health insurance, and
- promoting quality care and developing new pay-for-performance initiatives.
The case studies are based on interviews with Midwestern state officials, legislators and experts, as well as data derived from the nation’s top sources in health policy.
The report was part of a special Chair’s Initiative by Dempster to focus the MLC’s attention on state health reform efforts across the region.
The MLC is an association of all legislators in the region’s 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are affiliate members.
The Midwestern Office of The Council of State Governments provides staff support to the MLC. CSG is a national, nonpartisan organization that has championed excellence in state government for more than 70 years by sharing innovative solutions to common problems across state borders.