Health

As consumers, policymakers, practitioners, and agencies alike work to confront health challenges — from strengthening access to affordable, high-quality health care to careful planning to prevent and face pandemics — the Keystone Policy Center has a proven track record of identifying and working toward action-oriented solutions.

Throughout our history, the Keystone Policy Center has developed collaborative, multi-stakeholder processes to confront complex national, state and local health policy issues, including food and nutrition, healthy aging, workplace safety and health, environmental health, and chronic and infectious diseases. Throughout each process, we have maintained our commitment to working with a broad array of stakeholders to develop collaborative solutions to tough policy challenges.

Learn more about our featured projects below and review our past work in this area.

Featured Projects

Enhancing Healthcare Infection Control Assessment and Outbreak Response

Following the recent Ebola outbreak and the needs it highlighted for more robust infection control assessment and response plans, the Keystone Policy Center is partnering with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to convene a national effort to identify best practices and valuable implementation steps. Through a combination of site visits in select states and extensive regional meetings involving cross-sector teams from states and other participating jurisdictions, Keystone is designing and facilitating a dialogue focused on determining strategies for optimizing the capacities of public health agencies in responding to infectious disease incidents. The discussions will culminate in a report providing guidance at the national, regional and state levels, as well as state-specific action plans.

Emergency Preparedness

From disease outbreaks to terrorism-related health disasters, the Keystone Policy Center has extensive experience working with local, state, and national health stakeholders to identify community needs and develop appropriate responses. Throughout these collaborative stakeholder processes, Keystone has convened issue-area experts, health practitioners, public health officials, and key community members to develop recommendations and best practiced for implementation.

The Keystone Policy Center’s work also has involved partnering with national organizations and agencies — including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials — to develop better strategies for pandemic response, including vaccination prioritization and community control measures. Keystone also has designed and facilitated pandemic-planning efforts at the local, state and regional levels.

Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care

Faced with the challenges growing health care costs pose to families and Colorado, state lawmakers created the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care to comprehensively study the major and fundamental drivers of health care costs and make recommendation to ensure all Coloradans can access affordable and high-quality health care. The Keystone Policy Center is staffing the commission to provide programmatic and administrative support, which includes but is not limited to organizing and facilitating statewide meetings, web development, fundraising, communications, and report development.

The Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care held its first meeting on October 2014 and has been hard at work ever since studying the challenges ballooning health care costs could pose to hardworking families and the state itself. The commission, which also is exploring possible solutions, will deliver regular reports to state policymakers on its findings, culminating with a final report to the Colorado General Assembly and Governor’s Office in late 2017.

Colorado Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging

Colorado, which boasts one of the fastest-growing aging populations in the United States, is collaborative working to prepare for the needs of the state’s growing aging population. As part of these efforts the Colorado General Assembly created the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, which Keystone is facilitating.

The Planning Group is working to project the effects this demographic shift will have on the economy, workforce, businesses, market based products and services; state and local revenue budgets and fiscal policies; Medicaid and other safety-net programs and the collateral impact on other unrelated state programs; family caregiving and public and private options for long-term care, services and support; federal entitlement reforms; and transportation services and infrastructure. Colorado’s strategic planning process, which Keystone is helping lead, is a model for other states to anticipate needs of aging populations.

Affordable Care Act Premiums in Colorado

The Keystone Policy Center worked with the elected leaders and other policymakers in Colorado’s Summit and Eagle counties to address the effects of the changes in geographic rating under the Affordable Care Act. In February 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a study that found Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, and Summit counties had the highest health care premiums in the country. The Keystone Policy Center conducted interviews with national experts, insurers, and other states to identify the issues and opportunities. Keystone developed a series of option for county commissioners that led to a policy change to consolidate the higher health cost regions into larger rating areas to spread the risks and the costs of providing health care more equitably over a larger population.

Recreational Marijuana Implementation

Following Colorado’s decision in 2012 to legalize recreation marijuana, Centennial State policymakers wanted to gather information about the state’s progress implementing Amendment 64 as well as the policy ramifications. The Keystone Policy Center and Rebound Solutions worked with the Governor’s Office and other key stakeholders to study Colorado’s regulatory framework and to assess metrics in public safety, health, human services, revenue, and other areas affected by marijuana legalization.

The Keystone Policy Center’s work, which surveyed a complex and diverse set of stakeholders, yielded a high-level roadmap for state and local leaders to confront the effects of marijuana legalization. The Keystone Policy’s Center research offer insights not only into Colorado’s work implementing marijuana legalization, but also into the challenges and opportunities other states considering similar policy decisions could face.