Snapshots of Change in Fifteen Communities:

The Role of Public Policy in Health Care Market Change

Summer 1996
Health Affairs , vol.15, no.2 (Summer 1996): 77-91
Aaron Katz, Jack Thompson

arket forces appear dominant in the transformation of health care systems across the United States. However, in many markets public policy remains an important factor - guiding, facilitating, and in some cases prompting change. This paper reviews how the debate over health care reform acted as a catalyst in local health care financing and delivery systems, and how other public policy tools are affecting the fifteen markets studied in the Community Snapshots project. We then discuss prospects for public policy in the near term and the longer term, using the two scenarios to illustrate possible future roles.

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