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HSC Launches User-Friendly Health Policy Research Web Site
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ASHINGTON, DC - The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) today launched a revamped web site that helps policy makers, researchers and the news media find and use non-partisan health policy research. The web site presents HSC studies in topic areas that capture some of the most challenging aspects of the health care system: managed care, insurance coverage, health care costs and access and quality. HSC redesigned their web site to create a logical and easy-to-use resource for professionals proposing, studying and writing about health care policy.
"The new HSC site provides context for and insight about current health policy issues, displaying analyses in accessible, topical categories," said Ann C. Greiner, director of public affairs at HSC. "If users need additional assistance, we now have a robust search function that will allow them to search for our data and analyses by word, topic and author as well as many other dimensions."
The improved site highlights the key areas that have guided the HSC research agenda since 1995, when The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conceived the organization and selected Mathematica, Inc., to create it. It showcases HSCs research, which focuses on a sample of 60 communities representing the nation and features health care topic areas such as managed care, with studies that examine consumer and physician experiences with HMOs. Sections on insurance coverage contain HSC research on the uninsured, the safety net, and the changing nature of employer-sponsored coverage. The web site also provides a body of analyses on cost trends and studies that monitor changes in access and quality.
To keep health policy professionals apprised of new HSC research as it is released, site users can now register to receive E-Mail Alerts at www.hschange.org. Users logged on to the HSC site are also provided with a useful tool that allows them to e-mail particular HSC documents to their colleagues by typing in the recipients e-mail address and clicking send.
As HSC begins the third round of its comprehensive Community Tracking Study (CTS), results from the first two efforts (1996-1997 and 1998-1999) can be accessed in a number of ways at www.hschange.org. The data files from the Household, Followback, and Physician Surveys are available in both public use format and restricted use format (for researchers) at no charge to the user.
"Hill staff, health care experts in associations and others interested in the changing health care market should view this site as a research tool," said president Paul B. Ginsburg. "It presents our numerous studies, both HSC publications and journal articles, in an accessible format and allows users to get the information they need when they need it."
A new feature called "My Preferences" tailors the site to each visitor by incorporating their self-identification as policy maker, researcher, or member of the media. Once a user registers under one of these groups, the HSC information most relevant to them will be featured on their customized site each time they return to www.hschange.org. In addition, the site includes a resource page that points to nearly 130 different web sites representing the key health policy bodies in government, policy advocacy and academia, such as RWJF and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
The Center for Studying Health System Change - an independent research organization funded exclusively by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - provides objective, timely analyses about changes in the nations health care system and their impact on consumers to private and public decision makers. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.