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Policy Memo on Health Care in West Virginia
By this stage of the course, you have learned about the private health insurance market as well as major segments of the US health care delivery system (e.g., hospitals, physician offices and long term care). You have also heard about challenges and innovations facing the health care system including facing the health care workforce as well as innovations in health care. The purpose of this assignment is for you to consider how to best integrate innovations into the health care delivery system. Scenario: You are still the advisor to the same state-level politician (e.g., governor, US house of representative or senator, state senators) as in Assignment 1 who has asked you to write a 5 page memo (5 pages plus 1 page Executive summary and 1 page references) assessing how to help improve the state’s health care delivery system. Of course health care is not necessarily delivered at the state level but has a wide range of players from local to national. Yet states still fight to show that their state provides the best quality health care to their citizens. The goal is to help the politician be proactive and identify policy options to bring the state into the 21st century. Specifically, you will address the following questions: 1. What is the biggest challenge facing the state that may prevent it from being #1 in health care quality (and if already at the top, what threatens it from staying at the top)? 2. What health care innovation could have the biggest impact in improving the state’s health care quality? You will use the same state as you did for Assignment 1 (state assignments can be found on your course wall).
State: West Virginia
State-level politician: West Virginia Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischaer (D-Monongalia, 51)
Formatting: (1 point) • Executive Summary + 5 page policy memo (not including references, charts/tables, etc.) • Font must be 11 or 12 point; Arial or Times New Roman preferred • Double spaced with 1 inch margins and numbered pages (except first page) • Section headings should be bolded
Style: (2 points) • Write in third person • You will be judged for clarity in thought and readability. Aim for short sentences (12 words or less) and paragraphs (7 lines or less) • Short memos generally do not use quotations (ideas and facts/figures from other sources should still be cited though—see References below)
Structure: Your paper should include the following elements:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (4 points) • Length: 1 page or less • Briefly describe all elements (Problem Statement, Background, etc.) • Use sub-headings to organize (Problem Statement, Background, etc.) • Write this part last (after completing your analysis)
POLICY MEMO (18 points –see below for breakdown)
Format of Initial Memo Block (1 point) To: Decision maker name, Position (must be a real person) From: Your name Subject: Subject of memo Date: Month Day, Year
Problem Statement (4 points) • Briefly state the question(s) to be examined (restate the broad questions above to be more specific to your audience). • Explain why the problem exists and for whom this is a problem (go beyond just saying “because of the ACA”). • Make sure you consider the interest of your chosen politician (e.g., governors and US senators have different goals).
Background (4 points) (HINT: You may want to start with this section when preparing for this assignment) • Present background information about your state: o Summarize the current state of health insurance participation o Summarize the how well the state is doing in terms of health care quality and access o Identify whether certain health insurers (e.g., Kaiser, United, Blue Cross) and/or health care providers (e.g., Kaiser, Geisinger, Mayo) may be dominant in your state and describe their influence
Options (4 points) • Identify at least 2 innovations that may improve health care delivery (including quality and access) in your state • Explain how these innovations may solve your problem. • Explain how policymakers can help support and/or implement these innovations (consider economic and political feasibility including stakeholder interests; also consider that much of the health care delivery system is privately run so consider whether there are any policy levers that can be exerted).
Recommendation (4 points) • Recommend one of the above options. • Briefly explain why this option would be preferable to the other option(s) and doing nothing. • Include a brief conclusion paragraph.
References (1 point) • Cite all source materials in endnotes. • Include full references (author name, title, journal/publisher, date) for all source materials. Any format is (MLA, APA, etc) is fine.
DUE: 3/18/16 10 PM Eastern Time
By this stage of the course, you have learned about the private health insurance market as well as major segments of the US health care delivery system (e.g., hospitals, physician offices and long term care). You have also heard about challenges and innovations facing the health care system including facing the health care workforce as well as innovations in health care.