Letter from the Director

Health policy decisions require careful balancing of competing interests and information. Too often, adopted policies do not reflect the best research evidence available. Every year, the scientific research community produces a tremendous amount of policy-relevant information. The University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute (HPI) was founded in 1980 to analyze and translate this vast body of data into usable information for policymakers and practitioners.

The U.S. health system and HPI have evolved rapidly over the past 36 years. During that time, health spending has risen from 8% to 18% of GDP, yet our health outcomes have not kept pace with spending. Globally, we rank 42nd in life expectancy at birth and last among other developed nations in efficiency, quality and access to care. HPI is committed to partnering with government entities, health-focused foundations and stakeholder organizations and associations to improve the outcomes and equity of our health system.

To achieve our goal of Informing Policy for Better Health, today’s HPI focuses on six promising areas of research. Our Comparative Effectiveness Research Center leads and participates in high-quality patient-centered outcomes research to determine which interventions work best for which patients. Our Center for Research on Media Technology and Health conducts research investigating associations between media messages, technological innovations, and health outcomes. Our Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing fosters multidisciplinary collaborations to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of medication use. Our Medicaid Research Center conducts epidemiologic, economic and policy modeling research to improve the quality and efficiency of the Medicaid program. Our Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education develops innovative educational and practice models of patient-centered care. Our Stern Center for Evidence Based Policy bridges the gap between research and health policymaking through systematic reviews, primary data collection and analysis and sophisticated microsimulation and agent-based policy models.

Please join us in our collaborative work to improve the health of individuals and our population. Together, we can do better.