Health care in the United States is in a period of rapid change. Throughout the health care system, from providers of care to purchasers and policymakers, stakeholders are driving changes that are aimed at improving the quality of care, improving health outcomes and reducing costs. States are involved with the health care system at many levels and are uniquely positioned to innovate and catalyze efforts to transform health care delivery and payment systems. Governors, in their role as chief executives of their states, have the ability to lead and coordinate transformation initiatives across their states to improve the health of residents and move towards improved financial sustainability. Governors can not only influence health system transformation as one of the largest purchasers of health care in their state but also as one of the chief regulators of health care and as one of the most effective conveners of the public and private sectors.
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ (NGA Center) Health Division is working closely with governors and senior state staff to develop and implement evidence-based transformation initiatives. The NGA Center works with states to assist them to in reforming their Medicaid, state employee health insurance programs, health insurance exchanges and other sources of coverage to drive towards broader delivery and payment system transformation. Such reforms include implementation of new risk-based payment models focused on health outcomes, identifying early intervention tools to address potential behavioral health needs for children and creating care delivery models for high needs high cost patients. In assisting states with these efforts, the NGA Center has provided targeted technical assistance and served as a conduit between states and other partners nationwide, including the federal government and leading experts. As states continue to transform their health care systems, the NGA Center will share lessons and best practices to help facilitate further improvements in patient care and cost sustainability.