WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 -- The Urban Institute has issued the following news release:
Today, the Urban Institute appointed two of its senior fellows to serve together in the top leadership post of its Health Policy Center: Genevieve Kenney, Ph.D., and Stephen Zuckerman, Ph.D., will serve as co-directors beginning February 19, 2013. Kenney and Zuckerman are economists with decades of combined experience and deep expertise in both public health programs and private health insurance markets. They will succeed John Holahan, Ph.D., who helped establish the Health Policy Center and has led it for more than 30 years. Holahan will remain at the Institute in the prestigious role of Institute Fellow, continuing his own research and advising on the Health Policy Center's work.
Kenney and Zuckerman will lead a group of 45 researchers, including 20 Ph.D. economists and social scientists, two lawyers, and a physician. Together, the group is an influential source of nonpartisan policy research, analysis, and thought leadership. Over the past decade, the Health Policy Center has provided knowledge and evidence that was critical to shaping many of the most important health policy developments in the country. For example, the Urban Institute's influence is evident in the expansion of coverage and the efforts to reform health care, first in Massachusetts and then nationwide under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"Under John Holahan's leadership, the Institute has become a leading source of analysis that provides new understanding of health care coverage, costs, access, and quality," noted Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute. "I am proud and delighted that two esteemed scholars from our own ranks are ready to build upon this fine tradition and move the Institute to its next chapter. Steve and Jenny will work tirelessly both to preserve the high standards of the research and to ensure that it informs decisionmakers who can use the insights to improve public effectiveness and the lives of millions of families."
As part of the next phase of the Health Policy Center, Kenney and Zuckerman will look to advance the national dialogue on health insurance coverage in a post-ACA era. The Center will build on earlier analyses of health insurance coverage and assess how this new coverage is affecting people's lives. New areas of focus will include an examination of health care delivery system and payment reforms, including the development of accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes.
Kenney is a nationally renowned expert on Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and health insurance coverage and access to care for low-income children and adults. She has led numerous studies and conducted evaluations of the ACA, CHIP, and Medicaid managed care. Kenney's analysis has contributed to federal and state policies aimed at increasing coverage and improving the health and well-being of children and their families.
Zuckerman has done extensive work on physician payment, cost containment, and health insurance coverage. Currently he leads several projects related to the evolution of primary care and how it should be financed. His knowledge has affected decisions by policymakers regarding how physicians are paid through both Medicare and Medicaid-and how those payments affect patient care. The objective of his work is to improve efficiency for state and federal programs in an era of constrained resources.
Both Kenney and Zuckerman have been influential in building the reputation and expertise of the Health Policy Center, whose scholars are known for helping lawmakers understand the scope of the country's heath care problems, providing the data needed to craft legislation, evaluating the effectiveness of solutions, and providing insight to guide improvements. Their research is widely cited by decisionmakers across the political spectrum; for example, during the Supreme Court debate over the constitutionality of the ACA, Urban Institute research was cited in briefs on both sides of the argument. The Center's experts are frequently called upon in Washington, whether they testify before Congress, compare and analyze current policy proposals, or provide knowledge used by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or foundations like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
"We are thrilled about this opportunity to lead the Health Policy Center through a fast-changing era in health care policy," said Kenney. "The Urban Institute has deep knowledge of health care coverage expansions on the state and national level, and we look forward to continuing to provide decisionmakers with knowledge that can lead to better public policies and better outcomes for people."
Added Zuckerman, "We plan to continue the strong leadership and values on which John Holahan built this Center: asking tough questions, conducting rigorous, high-quality research, and providing evidence-based answers. We are excited to have an accomplished team of health experts and scholars resident at the Urban Institute that allows us to tackle emerging policy questions."
John F. Holahan was the Health Policy Center's first director, named to the post in 1977, and he will continue to play an integral role as an Institute Fellow. Not only has he retained top-quality scholars and established the high standards for which the Center is known, his personal research and his leadership of the Center have directly influenced the expansion of health insurance coverage in the United States today, as well as Medicaid resource allocation, cost containment, and health reform, among other issues.
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