September 1, 2014

Iowa's Good Health (Care)

Yesterday, experts from the Iowa Committee for Value in Healthcare -- a diverse group of Iowa health care providers, purchasers, payers, patient advocates, and policy analysts -- sent a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders indicating the principles for value-based health care reform that should be considered in any health care legislation. 

This committee was established as part of The Concord Coalition's Fiscal Stewardship Project to suggest ways that health reform could be enhanced to create a more value-based system. As Congressional efforts toward health reform continue through the summer, value, cost and long-term savings have become more prominent aspects of the debate. Achieving value in the health care system is essential for the federal budget as well as families, businesses, insurers and state and local governments.

Health care in Iowa has been nationally recognized for delivering high quality, low cost care. A 2007 Commonwealth Fund scorecard of state health systems ranked Iowa second in the nation for providing accessible, quality, equitable health care. Iowa has achieved this despite receiving relatively lower per enrollee reimbursement from Medicare. By providing high quality care for less, Iowa delivers high value care to its citizens.

To learn from Iowa’s successes, The Concord Coalition collaborated with the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative to bring together a diverse group of health care stakeholders to discuss the concept of value in reform. This committee has met three times to determine principles on which to create value-based reform. Concord hopes that the committee’s letter, and a forthcoming report can help inform the debate on how to create a more value-based health care system.

The fourth meeting of the Iowa Committee for Value in Healthcare will be August 17 and a large public meeting will be held in September to coincide with the release of the more detailed report, complete with specific examples about the Iowa experience of providing high-value health care. 

--Grace Arnold, Health Policy Intern for The Concord Coalition and a health policy Master's degree candidate at the University of Iowa department of public health