OCHIN’s Health Policy Research Program

OCHIN’s Health Policy Research Program

By Ashley Kroll, Research Associate – OCHIN
This article originally appeared on the OCHIN Blog and is being reprinted with permission by the author Ashley Kroll and Research Dissemination Lead MJ Dunne.

Health care and health policy have been in the public eye since former President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and substantially changed health care in the U.S. Now, as we transition to the Trump administration, we will likely face further substantial changes to U.S. health policy. OCHIN’s Research Department is committed to evaluating these policy changes—which directly impact the health of our patient population—through its Health Policy Research Program.

Currently, OCHIN has several research projects under this program. The PPDA portfolio consists of three projects: PACE, PREVENT-D, and ACCESS. These projects look at data from multiple states, comparing patient data collected before the ACA was passed to data collected after the ACA was passed, in order to measure the effects of the ACA on various metrics.

  • PACE looks at the effect of the ACA on the utilization of community health centers.
  • PREVENT-D looks at the effect of the ACA on the health of patients with diabetes.
  • ACCESS looks at the effect of the ACA on cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outcomes.

The results of these studies are a critical part of the conversation around the future of the ACA, and dissemination efforts will strive to ensure that OCHIN’s findings are considered by policymakers as they decide whether to keep or repeal the ACA.

A little bit closer to home is a project evaluating Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) model, entitled “Assessing the Potential for a State Medicaid Reform Model to Reduce Disparities.” This project looks at whether or not Oregon’s CCOs have reduced health disparities among racial minorities, individuals experiencing poverty, and residents of rural areas. While this project is an evaluation of Oregon’s Medicaid program, the results of this project may inform policies in other states, especially if the Trump administration carries out its promise to give states more discretion to develop their own Medicaid programs.

As we are facing a new era of substantial changes to our health care system, OCHIN’s Health Policy Research Program will continue to pursue projects that will empower policymakers to make evidence-based decisions that will benefit the patients we serve. OCHIN’s Research Department strives to improve the health of underserved populations, and conducting timely evaluation of state and federal health policy is critical to this mission.