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Newsletter Article


Commission Corner

As health reform gathers momentum in Washington, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System continues to contribute to the national dialogue through a series of meetings and reports.

This spring, the Commission held its first meeting of 2009 in Philadelphia. Taking advantage of the setting, the Commission learned about pioneering initiatives in Pennsylvania, including the state's chronic disease/medical home demonstration project and Geisinger Health System's innovative medical home program. The group also used the opportunity to think through its next phase of work, emphasizing the need to focus on the challenge of delivery system transformation and the set of policies needed to get there.

With the Alliance for Health Reform, the Fund and its Commission sponsored a series of briefings on critical topics for health reform for congressional and agency staff, journalists, and interest groups. In March, a briefing on payment reform offered strategies for containing health care costs and featured speakers Stu Guterman, Nancy Nielsen, Bruce Harmory, and Robert Berenson. In April, the Alliance, Fund, and Commission hosted a briefing on the issue of a public health insurance plan with Karen Davis, Karen Ignani, John Holahan, and Stuart Butler addressing the rationale for and potential downsides of such an option.

The Commission also released the results of the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, which shows that nearly all leaders in health care and health care policy agree that it is necessary to reduce the growth of health spending. A large majority demonstrated support for a range of strategies to address the problem, including fundamental provider payment reform in Medicare, introducing competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, and negotiating pharmaceutical drug prices.

On May 11, the Fund and Commission will sponsor an Alliance for Health Reform briefing on Capitol Hill featuring experts' perspectives on insurance connectors.

For more information, please visit the Commission page on our Web site.

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