The State Scorecard can motivate and focus states as they work to improve their health systems. Toward that end, the Fund is facilitating a series of forums through which states are exploring opportunities to create systems and models that meet their residents' needs.
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina gave Louisiana an opportunity to rebuild New Orleans' health care system virtually from the ground up. The state hopes to put into place three vehicles to achieve improvement: medical homes, health information technology, and a health care quality forum.
Recent activity in the legislative and executive branches is spurring efforts in Colorado to expand health coverage and reduce health disparities. Evidence suggests that both initiatives could help to contain health care costs.
Washington State enacted major health reforms this past year, including bills aiming to extend universal coverage to children and creating a new purchasing pool that offers subsidized coverage for low-income workers.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed into law a bipartisan health care reform bill intended to expand access to coverage and improve the performance of the health care system. It directs the Kansas Health Policy Authority to study health reforms in other states and develop a plan for universal coverage for Kansas, to be presented before the 2008 legislative session.
In June, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a multifaceted health reform bill intended to expand coverage to up to 200,000 low-income residents and to promote patient responsibility.
This past spring, Massachusetts defined the minimum set of benefits that will apply under the individual mandate, developed regulations and a schedule that define the level of premiums considered "affordable" for individuals and families at different income levels, and adjusted regulations on employers' offering of pre-tax, payroll deduction plans.
Early outlines of a plan by Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani and a detailed reform proposal by Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
To spread the lessons learned from a site visit to Denver Health, the Commission released a case study illustrating how the health system provides coordinated care, promotes a culture of continuous quality improvement, adopts new technology, takes risks and makes mid-course corrections, and provides leadership and support throughout the organization.