The role of health services research in developing state health policy

Associate Dean, Muskie School of Public Service
Research Professor, Public Health
University of Southern Maine

As their responsibility for health policy making grows, states are pursuing a variety of strategies for getting the research and analytical assistance they need, including expanding their relationships with university-based health services research and policy analysis programs. These collaborations raise a number of questions about the fit between states’ analytic needs and universities’ interest and capacity, and about the appropriate role of the university research organization in the often highly politicized state environment. This paper discusses these questions in light of case studies of universities involved in state health policy in five states: Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.