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 consensus-driven 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

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.

Recreation 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.

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.

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.

Health Care-Associated Infections

The Keystone Policy Center has extensive experience working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and stakeholders across the country to identify better ways to confront and reduce health care-associated infections. Keystone’s research and stakeholder outreach has focused on finding collaborative and proven ways to help hospitals, health officials, and policymakers confront this persistent problem, which the CDC estimates cause more than 99,000 deaths per year.

Keystone’s work has resulted in recommendations that have strengthened public health’s responses to health care-associated infections. One recent report — based on in-person stakeholder meetings in Colorado, New York, and Tennessee as well as more than 80 stakeholder interviews of health care practitioners, consumer representatives, public health officials, and other health care-associated infection experts in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington — explored how policy strategies, including public reporting laws, could affect health care-associated infection rates.