Listening to the Healthcare Consumer

Amid our noisy and confusing U.S. healthcare debate, it can be hard to hear the voice of the individual patient.

For physicians, listening to that voice is essential to doing their jobs – shouldn’t the same be true when determining health policy?

IHPI member Matthew Davis, M.D. M.A.P.P. thinks so. Davis, a pediatrician, is an associate professor of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Along with a team of researchers, Davis conducts the National Poll on Children’s Health (NPCH) which measures public attitudes about health policy, including the impact of recent reforms on issues of childhood and adolescent health. The NPCH has been conducted through the U-M Division of General Pediatrics Children’s Health Evaluation and Research Unit (CHEAR) since 2007. Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H. is associate director of the initiative, which is governed by an interdisciplinary advisory board.

Although the NPCH was well-established prior to the founding of IHPI, Davis sees the Institute as an opportunity to expose even more decision-makers to NPCH’s steady stream of rigorous findings, helping inspire new research ideas and new policy initiatives focused on critical childhood and adolescent health issues like obesity, bullying, insurance coverage, preventive services, access to care, smoking and others.

IHPI may also open a channel for policymakers to weigh in on the questions they’d like to see explored.

Specific findings are published monthly online as the National Poll on Children’s Health Reports.