Health Policy: What works? What's fair? Who pays?
Health policy is society's attempt to determine the most effective ways to get and stay healthy and cope with the consequences of illness or injury. Health policies range from complex national programs debated by our elected officials and adjudicated by our courts (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010), to everyday practices we take for granted ("employees must wash their hands").
Everyone has a stake in health policy — individuals, employers, doctors, hospitals, insurers, legislators. And for every stakeholder, there's an opinion about how to do things better — or safer, or faster, or cheaper. How do we move from opinion to fact?
That's where health services research comes in.
The best policies are those informed by unbiased data and analysis rather than speculation or political popularity. Health services research applies the rigorous, methodical tools of scientific investigation to questions of effectiveness, access, value, affordability, quality and safety in healthcare.
Within our top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, social work, law, business, public policy and others, the University of Michigan has been producing significant health services research and policy recommendations for decades.
Since health policy issues cross so many disciplines — medicine, economics, politics, social science, technology, law — it stands to reason that the most impactful research would come from bringing together the top minds from each of these fields.
And in today's social and political environment, the need has never been greater to turn the best of their ideas into practices and policies to make good health more achievable, affordable, and accessible to more people.
That's where IHPI comes in. IHPI is committed to improving the quality, safety, accessibility, equity and affordability of health care services. Our efforts are focused in four areas:
Medicaid expansions have the potential to revolutionize healthcare — what impact will they have?
Our nation is only as healthy as our most vulnerable citizens. What should be done to better the health of at-risk communities like Detroit?