Dhruv Khullar, M.D., writes in The New York Times about what states can learn from other states about how to improve healthcare. He concludes:
“There’s much to learn from state-level innovations, but there are also general principles that apply across states. High-performing states have competitive and accessible insurance markets; strategies for data-sharing and health information technology expansion; more value-based purchasing; greater emphasis on primary care; and strong partnerships with community organizations. They also expand Medicaid.
“It’s also important to note that many state-level policy changes do not require federal approval, and that states don’t always use their flexibility to improve population health. Proposals that allow states to weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions, for example, could harm patients and their ability to access care.
“Greater flexibility for states is an opportunity, not a solution. The enormous variation in quality, costs and access across the nation should remind us that experiments succeed and experiments fail. Having laboratories is probably a good thing. But it depends on what they cook up.”