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Commission Corner

The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System took its mission overseas this fall to learn about the Dutch health care system. Commission research director Cathy Schoen and three Commission members—Dallas Salisbury, Sandra Shewry, and Mary Wakefield—participated in AcademyHealth's five-day tour of multiple sites in the Dutch health system, including: the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport; the Health Care Insurance Board; the Dutch Care Authority; a large university medical center; and a local primary care center. The tour focused on the role of government and quasi-governmental structures, the impact of an individual mandate, risk equalization in insurance markets, benefit design, and payment reform. It informed and provided insight for the Commission's forthcoming policy recommendations for a new presidential administration and Congress, as well as an forthcoming issue brief on the Dutch health care system.

In September, the Commission hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill for congressional and Administration staff to discuss the value of patient-centered medical homes and the challenges that must be surmounted to strengthen the U.S. primary care infrastructure through this model of care delivery.

In November, watch for the Commission's latest report, a synthesis of 10 case studies of high-performing organized health care systems, as well as a briefing on Massachusetts' health reform efforts. The Commission will hold its final meeting of 2008 in Washington, D.C., to finalize recommendations for the new president and Congress and set priorities for work in 2009, taking into account the results of the election.

For more information, please visit the Commission page on the Fund's Web site.

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