Governor Names Professor to Health Care Reform Panel

January 16, 2006

Dennis Scanlon, associate professor of health policy and administration in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, has been appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell to serve on the cost-containment panel, one of four panels of consumer, business, labor, industry and legislative representatives that will work with the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform on ideas to expand access to affordable, quality health-care coverage for every Pennsylvanian.

Scanlon's research focuses on the power of information to improve quality and efficiency in health care markets. He also studies what large employers like Boeing Corp. and General Motors, and quality advocacy groups such as the Leapfrog Group, are doing to improve health-care quality in communities.

The commonwealth has been awarded a $900,000 state planning grant from the federal government to help with this planning process. The governor has started a bipartisan process with legislators from each caucus and key stakeholders to look at what other states are doing that works and to review policy options developed by consultants hired under the planning grant.

After receiving feedback from the stakeholders, the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform will be crafting a strategic, time-phased plan to provide affordable, accessible quality health-care coverage that provides health care for all Pennsylvanians. The plan will be reviewed by the Governor's Health Care Reform Cabinet and then given to the Governor for his consideration.

The panels will complete their work by this June. The governor will review those recommendations and budget considerations and present a plan by the end of this year