In an editorial in the current issue of the Milbank Quarterly, Don Berwick points to health services research’s (HSR) steady contribution to Medicare and Medicaid policy to underscore the field’s pivotal role in improving health care access, quality, and cost outcomes. But Berwick argues that there are significant holes in our knowledge base and that HSR needs a “rechartered agenda” if it is going to continue to inform the Nation’s health policymakers, providers, payers, and consumers. He goes on to outline 10 topics he believes our community should address over the next decade.
Helping health services researchers understand policymaker's needs and inform their individual research agendas continues to be a major emphasis of AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute. In 2014, we released the first report in our Listening Project series, in which we systematically work with policymakers and other experts to identify the questions they most urgently need the HSR community to study in the next three to five years. The 2014 report focused on Medicare. A 2015 report examined Medicaid research needs, and a third report, forthcoming in late January, identifies what safety net delivery system leaders need from health services researchers. We believe the most important part of the Listening Project is not the series of reports, but the ongoing conversation they facilitate among the funders, producers, and users of HSR. Berwick’s ideas represent an important contribution to that conversation. You can read the full post here.
Michael Gluck, PhD, MPP, is a Senior Director, Evidence Generation and Translation at AcademyHealth and Co-Director of the AcademyHealth Translation and Dissemination Institute.