Article of the Year Award
We are delighted to recognize the achievement of ReThinkers Bobby Milstein and Jack Homer, whose May 2011 Health Affairs article, “Why Behavioral and Environmental Interventions are Needed to Improve Health at Lower Cost,” was selected as Public Health Systems Research Article of the Year by AcademyHealth. This prestigious award recognizes the most notable scientific work published in the field of Public Health Systems Research each year. As the preeminent professional society for health services researchers and health policy analysts, AcademyHealth seeks to improve health and health care by supporting research, facilitating the use of the best available information, and assisting policy and practice leaders in addressing major health challenges.
Drs. Milstein, Homer and the research team – Peter Briss, Deron Burton, and Terry Pechacek – used the HealthBound dynamic system model of the US health system to evaluate the effectiveness of different health policy strategies: expanding insurance coverage, delivering better preventive and chronic care, and protecting health by enabling healthier behavior and improving environmental conditions. The researchers found that pursuing each intervention strategy in isolation could save lives and improve health system performance but would likely increase costs. However, pursuing these strategies in combination could further reduce deaths and improve health system performance while simultaneously reducing spending. The policy implications of these findings are highly relevant, as many organizations and communities across the country are seeking to create sustainable, high-quality health systems.
Over the past few years, with support from the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation, and scores of organizational allies, ReThink Health has also embraced the power of simulation modeling. The ReThink Health Dynamics program picks up where the national HealthBound modeling project left off by creating a suite of new models to represent key features of local health systems. The ReThink Health models support local leaders who are committed to transformation by providing a platform for them to collaborate around the design of promising policies that they can create together. We are pleased that this honor recognizes the valuable contribution system dynamics modeling can make in addressing the challenges facing our health system.