Briefs & Reports

HMA’s Henneberry Part of Commission That Issued ‘Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs’ Report

HMA Managing Principal Joan Henneberry was part of the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission which released a report Jan. 8 that concludes states can transform the health care system into one that is more coordinated, patient-centered, of higher quality and less costly. The report, organized by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, aims to jump start health care cost containment in 2014 as 46 state legislative sessions get under way.

“Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs” can be found at

The commission is co-chaired by Mike Leavitt, former U.S. secretary of health and human services and governor of Utah, and Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado. Henneberry, based in HMA’s Denver office, is one of 12 commissioners who represent all key sectors of the health care community.

”Lost in much of the debate over health care is the surprising number of policy levers available to state governments to transform the current fee-for-service health care system into one that delivers substantially more value to patients,” Leavitt said in a news release.

The report says solutions must be tailored to the unique health care markets and cultures of individual states. The United States is now in a period of health care experimentation, and states are very adaptable at quickly modifying programs to ensure that they work as they did with clean air, welfare and education reforms, the report says.

The report recommends that states:

1. Create an Alliance of Stakeholders to Transform the Health Care System

2. Define and Collect Data to Create a Profile of Health Care in the State

3. Establish Statewide Baselines and Goals for Health Care Spending, Quality, and Other Measures as Appropriate

4. Leverage Payment Reforms to Accelerate the Trend Toward Coordinated, Risk-Based Care

5. Encourage Consumer Selection of High-Value Care Based on Cost and Quality Data, and Promote Market Competition

6. Reform Health Care Regulations to Promote System Efficiency

7. Promote Better Population Health and Personal Responsibility in Health Care

Raymond Scheppach, former executive director of the National Governors Association, is director of the project. He is an economic fellow at the Miller Center and a professor of practice at U.Va.’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The State Health Care Cost Containment Commission’s efforts are funded by Kaiser Permanente and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

More details about the commission can be found at

The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history and strives to apply the lessons of history to the nation’s most pressing contemporary governance challenges.