Job Opportunities

OPEN POSITIONS: 

  • Research Associate, Health Care Coverage and Access
  • Senior Program Officer, Cost Control and Medicare

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE 

HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND ACCESS

The Commonwealth Fund 

THE ORGANIZATION 

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for two groups of people: High-need and high-cost inpiduals – the sickest 5 percent of Americans who account for 50 percent of health care costs, and America’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. In so doing, the Fund has become a national leader in investigation and policy development related to tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reforming the health care delivery system, international health policy and practice, cost control and Medicare. The Fund has an endowment of $700 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent if which is spent extramurally on grants and 40 percent intramurally on developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences. 

THE PROGRAM ON HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND ACCESS 

The number of people without health insurance in the United States climbed steadily over the past decade, rising from 37 million in 2000 to 50 million in 2010. By 2014, the coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act had lowered the number of uninsured Americans by 10 million people. Over the next ten years, 27 million people are projected to gain health insurance through private plans sold through the marketplaces, Medicaid, and sweeping insurance market reforms. More than 30 million people now have health insurance coverage through the law’s provisions. 

Program Goals 

The Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Coverage and Access program will furnish policymakers and key stakeholders with timely analysis to inform successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the years to come. Activities will include: 

  • Providing timely information about the Affordable Care Act’s reforms and the status of their implementation.
  • Tracking enrollment and people’s experiences with the new insurance options.
  • Evaluating the effects of insurance reforms and state and federal innovation on the extent and quality of health coverage, access to health care, changes in employer-based coverage, affordability of premiums and out-of-pocket costs, health plan competition, innovation in insurance markets, and sustainability of the insurance marketplaces.
  • Analyzing and developing national and state short-term policy solutions to address implementation issues as they arise.
  • Identifying gaps in the law and its implementation that may leave some groups of people without coverage or adequate protection from costs. 

SUMMARY POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Vice President, Health Care Coverage and Access, the Research Associate is an important part of a three-member team responsible for the Fund’s Program on Health Care Coverage and Access. The primary responsibility of the Research Associate is to provide research and analytic support for the Health Care Coverage and Access program, with specific responsibility in the area of the program’s extensive survey research agenda. With guidance from the Vice President, the Research Associate is responsible for managing the day to day activities of the program’s surveys including organizing and providing input to questionnaire development, insuring data integrity, communicating with the survey research firms, using statistical software to analyze data, and displaying data in tables and charts. The Research Associate will participate as part of Fund staff research teams in writing reports, issue briefs, blogs, and journal articles based on survey findings. As experience deepens, responsibilities will include making presentations at public and professional meetings. 

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES 

Specific responsibilities for the Research Associate include: 

  • Managing the day to day activities of the Health Care Coverage and Access program’s surveys including organizing and providing input to questionnaire development, insuring data integrity, communicating with the survey research firms, and responding to external requests for data. 
  • Conducting statistical analysis of the program’s surveys, displaying data in tables and charts.
  • Developing and implementing procedures for insuring data integrity in survey data sets and program publications. 
  • Collaborating with other members of the research team to write reports, issue briefs, journal articles, and blogs based on survey findings. 
  • Maintain and build knowledge-base on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and emerging regulations and guidance implementing the law, to both inform questionnaire development, data analysis and presentation, and focus of publications. 
  • Maintain and build knowledge-base on the literature, policy environment, and industry trends related to public and private health insurance coverage and access issues. Conduct background research on current health coverage and access issues, including literature reviews and Internet searches. Monitor journals, working papers, legislative developments, survey reports, and other information related to the program area.
  • Prepare charts and tables for public presentations and presenting findings to professional and policy audiences. May also be asked to prepare presentations for other members of senior management. 
  • As needed, assist in the development of policy relevant and methodologically sound Board-level and Small Grants Fund projects for the Health Care Coverage and Access program. Conduct background research and literature reviews; review proposals for design and methodology; prepare summaries for review and approval by the Board of Directors. 
  • As needed support the Program Associate in managing grants; maintain knowledge of work related to grants, including publications. 
  • Assure high quality, policy relevant Fund publications based on grantee and staff work. Critique grantee and staff papers submitted for Fund publication; participate in the final review; prepare executive summaries and issue briefs based on grantee work. 
  • Participate in Fund supported health policy work beyond the program on Health Care Coverage and Access as needed. 
  • The Research Associate may also support the Vice President who serves as the Team Coordinator for the Health Care Coverage and Access Program, with additional responsibility for: coordinating all program officer activities within this program, developing and maintaining the work plan for the program, convening program team meetings and representing the program internally to the executive management team. 
  • The Program Associate and the Senior Research Associate will back each other up in the other’s absence, so each is expected to cross-train and ultimately know the other’s responsibilities at a level that provides for reasonable back-up. 

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS 

The ideal candidate for this policy focused position will have a masters degree (MS, MPH, MPA) in a field related to health economics, health services research or health policy. The position requires a strong background in statistical data analysis using STATA, SAS or other statistical software. Candidates must also have a working knowledge of the insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act and a background in health insurance coverage and insurance markets. Experience in survey design and methodology is preferable. 

Applicants should demonstrate strong health policy, economic and research analytical skills, including competence in the use of quantitative data. Excellent oral and written communication skills will include the ability to write about and discuss complex issues. Will have coordination and project management skills, be well organized with concern for details, accuracy and deadlines and have the ability to set priorities and work with a minimum of supervision. Computer skills: experience with statistical software analysis, facility with Internet searches, word processing, spreadsheets, graphical presentations and. Excellent interpersonal skills: capable of being a team member as well as a team leader and a willingness to participate in general workflow of office. 

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications. 

COMPENSATION 

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room). 

CONTACT 

Send cv or resume cover letter, salary history and two writing samples via e-mail to: 

dd@cmwf.org 

Diana Davenport 

Vice President, Administration 

The Commonwealth Fund 

One East 75th Street 

New York, NY 10021-2692


 

SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER

COST CONTROL AND MEDICARE

THE COMMONWEALTH FUND

THE POSITION

The Commonwealth Fund is looking for an experienced executive with a strong background in health economics and policy, health services financing and delivery and access to care issues to oversee two programs in areas critical to the overall mission of the Commonwealth Fund: cost control and Medicare. The successful candidate will work with many of the best health economists and policy thought leaders in the country, and will be responsible for a combined budget of approximately $2 million.

THE ORGANIZATION

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for two groups of people: High-need and high-cost individuals – the sickest 5 percent of Americans who account for 50 percent of health care costs, and America’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. In so doing, the Fund has become a national leader in investigation and policy development related to tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reforming the health care delivery system, international health policy and practice, cost control and Medicare. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent if which is spent extramurally on grants and 40 percent intramurally on developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences.

THE INITIATIVE ON CONTROLLING HEALTH COSTS

The U.S. health care system is by far the most expensive in the world, consuming 18 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That’s 50 percent higher than the share of GDP devoted to health care in the second-most-expensive country and double that in many other high-income countries.

Despite all that spending, health outcomes for Americans are often worse than in those other countries.  The U.S. health care system is fraught with wasteful and inefficient spending and prices are higher than those that other developed nations pay for the same medical services, devices, and pharmaceuticals―even those produced in the United States and sold on global markets. The inefficiency of U.S. health care is putting a strain on businesses, governments, and household budgets―diverting resources away from investments in jobs, education, and other social and economic needs.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Controlling Health Costs initiative monitors and analyzes spending in both the public and private health care sectors. It seeks answers to two central questions:

  • What is driving cost and spending trends in health care markets across the country?
  • What policy reforms, innovations in care delivery, or changes in provider payment have the potential to reduce costs while improving health outcomes in all regions?

Patients with the highest and costliest health care needs, such as people with multiple chronic conditions, are a particular emphasis of the initiative. Research efforts also focus on the cost impact of new medical technologies and changing demographics, as well as the role of prices, treatment patterns, and resource use.

It is hoped that findings from these and other analyses will inform new approaches to controlling costs that yield far better value for our health care dollars.

THE INITIATIVE ON ADVANCING MEDICARE

For nearly five decades, Medicare has helped older adults and disabled people of all ages obtain the health care they need while protecting them from severe financial hardship. The Commonwealth Fund’s Advancing Medicare initiative identifies ways in which this crucial program―the largest single payer of health care services in the United States―can serve its beneficiaries more effectively and efficiently while helping to foster health system improvements nationwide. Medicare has enormous capacity to leverage broader change in U.S. health care. More than 50 million aged and disabled Americans access care through the program, which accounts for a large and growing share of the federal budget (the government spends nearly $600 billion on Medicare benefits annually, accounting for 18 percent of total federal non-interest spending). And with the creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Medicare has a key role in the development, implementation, evaluation, and spread of innovative models of health care organization, delivery, and payment—not only for Medicare, but for other federal and state health insurance programs and private payers, too. The Fund and its grantees will examine how Medicare can:

  • Improve access to care needed by aged and disabled beneficiaries.
  • Restrain the growth of program costs.
  • Assess and disseminate innovations in care delivery and provider payment throughout the program and the entire health system.
  • Improve coordination between Medicare and other public programs, like Medicaid.
  • Drive improvements in other areas of the health system, such as employer-funded, private health insurance.

GENERAL SENIOR PROGRAM STAFF DUTIES

Within the Fund, the program staff originates and manages the individual projects for grants that are made by the Fund. Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Programs and working closely with the Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, the Senior Program Officer is responsible for:

  • Development/writing of program plans for Controlling Health Costs and Advancing Medicare initiatives. This responsibility includes synthesizing findings from the past year from all projects across a program area, assessing other foundation contribution to the program area and assisting in the development of strategic options for the program for the year ahead.
  • Development of new projects, including identifying prospective grantees, working with prospective grantees to improve project design, collecting background information/research and conducting literature reviews, developing knowledge on specific topics to program areas, participation in meetings regarding projects and preparation of follow-up memoranda on meetings.
  • Development of proposed Small Grants Fund projects, including identifying prospective grantees, working with prospective grantees to improve project design, and preparing description of project for review.
  • Management of grants including: drafting payment and reporting schedules and contract language, tracking the current status of projects through ongoing contact with grantee principal investigators; reviewing grantee interim and final deliverables (e.g., interview protocols, survey instruments, preliminary data analysis and papers/articles for publication); maintaining knowledge of work related to grants; and maintaining files on assigned grants; and insuring that grantees follow payment and reporting schedules.
  • Preparing Completed Grant Memoranda on all assigned completed projects, summarizing achievements, issues in implementation, and lessons learned for Fund grantmaking.
  • Development of briefing materials, policy briefs and journal articles for Fund or outside publication.
  • Development of survey instruments, analysis of survey data, and the dissemination of survey results.
  • Preparing talks and presentations to disseminate the Fund’s work in Advancing Medicare and in Controlling Health Costs.
  • Supervising program support staff in the planning of advisory committee meetings and policy roundtables.
  • Representing the Fund at meetings and conferences.
  • Working with the executive vice president for programs and other senior program staff on cross-cutting issues and other program areas as needed. This work may include participating in the internal review of reports for possible Fund publication in all Fund program areas.
  • Working with the Fund’s communications office in the presentation and dissemination of project findings to the media and other interested parties.

ADDITIONAL DUTIES

The Senior Program Officer also leads the Advancing Medicare Initiative, with additional responsibility for:

  • Coordinating all program officer activities within this program
  • Developing and maintaining the work plan for the program
  • Convening program team meetings
  • Representing the program internally to the executive management team

The Senior Program Officer is also assigned as a team member of the Fund’s other programs and initiatives. As such, the Senior Program Officer is expected to actively participate and contribute to the activities of these programs.

The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all senior staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

Ideal requirements include an advanced degree in economics or a related field. A doctorate level degree is preferred. Strong background in health insurance coverage and policy, health services financing and delivery and access to care issues. Minimum of eight to ten years related work experience. Health policy, economic and research analytical skills, including use of quantitative data and a grounding in qualitative research methods. Coordination and project management skills. Well organized with concern for details, accuracy and deadlines. Ability to set priorities and work with a minimum of supervision. Computer skills: facility with Internet searches, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphical presentations. Experience with statistical software analysis preferred. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Excellent interpersonal skills: capable of being a team member as well as a team leader. Willingness to participate in general workflow of office.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.  

LOCATION AND START DATE:

This position could be based in either the Fund’s New York City headquarters or its Washington DC Office. The job will commence July 1, 2015.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room).

CONTACT

Send resume, cover letter and salary history via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport 
Vice President, Administration 
The Commonwealth Fund 
One East 75th Street New York, NY 
10021-2692