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January 2007

Toward More Effective Use of Research in State Policymaking

Putting innovative research to work in the policymaking process takes tenacity and understanding on the part of both researchers and lawmakers. A new report, Toward More Effective Use of Research in State Policymaking, presents a four-stage framework to support effective use of research in health policymaking and improve communications between researchers and state policymakers and program administrators. This report was commissioned for a February 2006 meeting of the AcademyHealth State Health Research and Policy Interest Group, sponsored in part by the Commonwealth Fund.

The report notes that states are essential players in disseminating evidence-based practices and policies that can lead to better care. In addition, strengthening channels of communications between researchers and policymakers at the state level is a practical way to accelerate health system improvement.

In the report, the authors discuss practical lessons and communication strategies gleaned from interviews with researchers and policymakers across the country. The report also features a case study of Massachusetts' groundbreaking health care reform legislation, designed to expand health insurance coverage to all state residents.