Policy Initiatives:
The Definitive Guide to

State Health Care Policy

A Critical Resource for States

This book is a crucial resource for state legislators who wish to improve both their constituents’ well-being and their state’s financial health. The reforms included in this book are commonsense, innovative solutions to achieve those goals. The book’s authors share their own experiences to help readers anticipate and counter opposition with effective responses and evidence, such as statistics and examples of other states’ successes. States that implement these practical solutions may help not only their own constituents but also citizens nationwide by inspiring reforms in other states and at the federal level. It is urgent that state leaders not wait for solutions from Washington and instead use the power they have to improve their health sector

8 Ways States Can Create a Better Health System

Check out these conversations with leading policy experts to learn about the reforms.

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Take Control

States Can Provide Remedies

Don’t Wait for Washington is a crucial resource for state legislators who wish to improve both their constituents’ well-being and their state’s financial health.

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Demonstrate Leadership

Reform the State Employee Health Plan

Brian Blase, PhD, discusses how states can improve their health care sectors by using their leverage as a large, and often the largest, employer in the state.

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Manage Effectively

Make Medicaid More Accountable

Jonathan Ingram discusses  problems with Medicaid—the largest state budget item—and provides recommendations for how states can better run their programs.

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Maximize Choice

Open Up Coverage Options

Charles Miller shows how the ACA’s insurance regulation removed affordable and flexible options from millions of Americans—particularly those who earn middle income or higher.

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Welcome Competition

Scale Back Certificate of Needs Laws

Matt Mitchell documents how restrictive certificate-of-need laws require health care providers to obtain government permission to increase the availability of health care services.

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Unshackle Providers

Don’t Waste Their Training

Robert Graboyes and Darcy Nikol Bryan, MD, discuss how medical professionals can practice at the top of their license and non-MDs without mandatory collaborative practice agreements.

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Unleash Technology

Maximize Telehealth’s Potential

Naomi Lopez considers why states should make permanent many of the telehealth reforms they enacted to ease patients’ access to their providers during the COVID pandemic.

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Empower Patients

Let Them Own and Control Their Prescriptions

Jeffrey Singer, MD, considers what states should do to conform to a new federal rule that permits patients to access and share their electronic health records via smartphone apps.

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Implement Transparency

Release Data to Improve Decision-Making

Heidi Overton, MD, recommends that states make Medicaid claims data public to increase patient knowledge and improve the appropriateness of medical care.


Don't Wait for Washington

Paragon’s President Brian Blase, PhD, and eight other policy experts offer a field guide for state policymakers and their staff to solve many of our major health care challenges at the local level.

Download or order our book or watch a series of interviews to get started.

“State lawmakers have both the authority and the duty to put patients first. That is why the Paragon Institute’s new book, “Don’t Wait for Washington”, arms state lawmakers with the information they need to make meaningful reform — today.”

Naomi Lopez

Director of Health Care Policy, Goldwater Institute

“Paragon isn’t waiting for Washington for health reform. With its first major publication, Paragon is giving state leaders a wealth of valuable and practical policy ideas they can implement now to give residents more options for affordable health care and coverage.”

Grace-Marie Turner

Galen Institute

© Paragon Health Institute 2023. All Rights Reserved.

Paragon Health Institute (PHI) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit policy research institute. Any views, beliefs, or opinions expressed by PHI’s Public Advisors are those of its Advisors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PHI or its employees. Any views, beliefs, or opinions expressed by PHI or its employees belong solely to PHI and do not necessarily reflect those of PHI’s Public Advisors.