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Office of Health Policy (HP)

The Office of Health Policy (HP) provides a cross-cutting policy perspective that bridges Departmental programs, public and private sector activities, and the research community, in order to develop, analyze, coordinate and provide leadership on health policy issues for the Secretary. HP carries out this mission by conducting policy, economic and budget analyses, assisting in the development and review of regulations, assisting in the development and formulation of budgets and legislation, assisting in survey design efforts, as well as conducting and coordinating research, evaluation, and information dissemination on issues relating to health policy.

HP is organized in four divisions that align with major Department programs :

Division of Health Care Financing Policy (HFP)
Division of Public Health Services (PHS)
Division of Health Care Access and Coverage (HAC)
Division of Health Care Quality and Outcomes (HQO)

Health Policy Research:

  • Reports to Congress
  • Affordable Care Act Research & Issue Briefs
  • HP Authored or Sponsored Work Published in Journals

Other Helpful Information:

Topic Areas:


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ASPE Issue Brief

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians: Estimates of Medicare Savings

May 9, 2019
Between 1996 and 2013, there was a 54% decrease in the incidence of diabetes-related end-stage renal disease (ESRD-DM) in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/ AN) populations. This decline has occurred since the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) was established in 1997.
ASPE Issue Brief

Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Extending Coverage of Immunosuppressive Drugs under Medicare

May 9, 2019
By statute, the majority of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are eligible for Medicare, regardless of age. Kidney transplantation is ultimately considered the best treatment for ESRD, but ESRD-related eligibility for Medicare coverage extends for only 36 months post-transplant.

Identifying Safety-Net Resources at Health Centers to Prevent Infectious Disease Transmission Resulting from the Opioid Epidemic

March 21, 2019
The impact of the opioid epidemic on infectious disease transmission is an important public health issue. The problem came dramatically to light in 2015 when an outbreak of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occurred in rural Scott County, Indiana.

Experiences of Medicaid Programs and Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth

March 5, 2019
Health centers are experimenting with telehealth for a range of conditions, working with different types of remote providers, and confronting different telehealth policies and implementation barriers, depending on their locations and payer mix.  This paper explores the experiences of health centers and state Medicaid programs in seven states.
Report to Congress

Report to Congress: Current State of Technology-Enabled Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Models

February 28, 2019
This report responds to the December 2016 “Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act,” Public Law 114-270, which requires the Department to report to Congress on a range of issues related to technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models and make recommendations on their use.  This report consists of a summary document that includes the Department’s recommendatio

Perspectives of Physicians in Small Rural Practices on the Medicare Quality Payment Program

February 7, 2019
The objectives of this research effort were to collect feedback through interviews with physicians in small rural practices on the initial implementation of Medicare’s Quality Payment Program in 2017, a new value-based purchasing program for Medicare physicians.

Prescription Drug Pricing: ASPE Resources Related to Safe Harbor Rule

January 31, 2019
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Inspector General Daniel Levinson have issued a proposed rule, “Fraud and Abuse; Removal of Safe Harbor Protection for Rebates Involving Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Creation of New Safe Harbor Protection for Certain Point-of-Sale Reductions in

Health Plan Choice and Premiums in the 2019 Federal Health Insurance Exchange

October 25, 2018
This brief presents information on qualified health plans (QHPs) available in the Exchange for states that use the platform, including estimates for issuer participation, health plan options, premiums, and subsidies in the upcoming open enrollment period (OEP), and trends since the first OEP. National estimates and summary tables are presented in each section of the text.

Addressing Social Determinants of Health Needs of Dually Enrolled Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage Plans: Findings from Interviews and Case Studies

October 14, 2018
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that serve relatively higher proportions of dually enrolled beneficiaries have lower ratings in the MA Star Rating program than plans that serve fewer dually enrolled beneficiaries. However, some MA plans that serve a high proportion of dually enrolled beneficiaries are high performers.
Environmental Scan

Types and Costs of Services for Dual Beneficiaries by Medicare Advantage Health Plans: An Environmental Scan

October 14, 2018
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses the Star Rating program to measure the quality of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, publicly report plan performance, and determine quality bonus payments and rebates for MA plans.