Policy and Research

The Center conducts research to identify existing and innovative practices that allow health care consumers’ goals and preferences to drive their interactions with the health care system. We then translate these findings to create pragmatic, constructive solutions that improve policy and practice for all consumers.

The Center advances policy and research that promotes person-centered care. To do this, we provide information and evidence to support policymakers, health care decision makers, advocates and consumers in achieving policy change. We conduct research and evaluation that builds the evidence base — the “hows and whys” — of consumer engagement and person-centered care. And we partner with researchers to drive policy-relevant research.

Our work focuses on the six priority areas below. For a more detailed discussion, read our publication, "A Consumer Policy Platform for Health System Transformation."

Structures for meaningful consumer engagement to ensure that people have a voice in policy decisions, the health care organizations that serve them and their own health care. The Center promotes a meaningful role for consumers, family members and advocates in advisory councils and engagement of patients as part of clinical care.

Payment arrangements that incentivize people-centered health care by paying providers for achieving the health outcomes that matter most, ensuring that providers are appropriately compensated for the care of complex patients, and reducing patient barriers to accessing needed care.

Resources for community and population health in order to address the social and economic factors affecting the health of people in their communities. The Center supports the use of community benefit programs to reflect and target community needs and priorities, the improved alignment of community resources, an increased investment in prevention, and robust evaluation of population health outcomes.

Consumer protection through the application of strong safeguards including independent and effective ombudsman programs. The Center also backs protections in the form of consumer-centric quality measures, transparency and consumer choice.

Person-centered culture of care through the adoption of care models and best practices that meet the specific goals, preferences and needs of the population being served, including at the end of life. The Center promotes coordinated care and the integration of physical health, behavioral health and community supports and services. We place particular emphasis on the care of three vulnerable populations:

  • Older adults and people with disabilities who have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage (“dual eligibles”)
  • People with substance use disorders and mental health conditions
  • Children and youth with special health care needs

Health equity for underserved populations in all health system transformation efforts. The Center prioritizes expanding the collection and reporting of data on disparities, ensuring that care improvement efforts specifically address health disparities, and promoting a culturally competent workforce, including the use of community health workers.