Dear Mr. President: Mason Experts Offer Advice to Incoming Administration

Posted: September 11, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In a weekly series running from now until the election, the Mason Gazette will present the views of Mason faculty experts on a variety of important campaign issues. This week’s focus is on health care policy.

By Marjorie Musick

Jack Hadley

Professor of health administration and policy, College of Health and Human Services

Jack Hadley
Jack Hadley
Photo by Evan Cantwell

“The next administration needs to articulate clearly its strategy for solving the country’s major health care problems and its vision for how the health care system should be organized and financed.

“However, it also must recognize that change has to be incremental because of the substantial interests that are likely to be affected. The plan for a future health care system should embrace both public and private components because the diversity of ideologies and health care needs make all-public or all-private solutions untenable.”

Hadley has conducted extensive research related to the financing and costs of care used by the uninsured. His work has focused on the scope of health insurance coverage, medical education financing and the effects of managed care on health delivery systems. Hadley previously served as a principal research associate with the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center and senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Gary L. Kreps

Professor of health communication and chair of the Department of Communication in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication

Gary Kreps
Gary Kreps
Creative Services photo

“The health care system is very difficult to navigate and negotiate. Costs are increasing, yet quality of care seems to be decreasing. The modern health care system needs to be redesigned to emphasize responsiveness to the needs of consumers.

“Health care providers should be trained to communicate effectively with consumers and to cooperate and collaborate with other providers. New communication tools and information technologies need to be developed and implemented to share health information widely, reduce medical errors and empower consumers to participate actively in health promotion and health care efforts.”

Kreps served as the founding chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute where he developed national health communication research initiatives to promote cancer prevention and control. His published work includes more than 250 scholarly books and articles concerning the applications of communication knowledge in society.

Robin Remsburg

Associate dean, College of Health and Human Services; director of the School of Nursing

Robin Remsburg
Robin Remsburg
Creative Services photo

“Health care workers are the interface between the health care system and the patient. A well-prepared, empowered workforce can identify and implement the changes needed to improve the health care system and patient outcomes.

“For example, nurse-lead care coordination models can be very effective in managing chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

“Increased dollars for workforce development are needed to educate and prepare for the aging and growing diversity of the population. And, national, state and local data are needed to track changes and improvements in health care systems and outcomes.”

Remsburg, a nationally certified gerontological clinical nurse specialist, is the former long-term care statistics branch chief and deputy director of the Division of Health Care Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics. She is a past president of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the editorial board of Geriatric Nursing.

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