News & Perspectives

Insights from the annual National Academy for State Health Policy (#NASHPCONF17)

27. October 2017 Margot Thistle Health

PCG subject matter experts were in Portland, Oregon last week at the 30th annual #NASHPCONF17. With a focus on guiding state policy makers though the changing health policy landscape, #NASHPCONF17 provided a break from the day to day, reactionary work to adjust to federal policy. The conference served as an opportunity for state health policy leaders to learn from their colleagues and collaborate on problem solving the tough issues facing health policy; rising prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, providing affordable health care and measuring and improving public health. 

Like last year, #NASHPCONF17 focused on rising prescription drug costs, and took the opportunity to update attendees on the progress made by the Pharmacy Cost Work Group. Comprised of state health leaders, clinical professionals, attorney generals, and legislators, this group has spent the past year continuing their work of providing guidance to states on ways to tackle the risking prescription drug costs. This past summer the work group released model rate setting legislation,  and just this month an in-depth analysis and FAQ of the ways this model rate containment legislation could assist states. This work group has grown and #NASHPCONF17 accounted that they are providing grants to three states(Colorado, Delaware, and Oklahoma) to assist them in putting the insights from the work group into action. 

  • Colorado will develop new payment methodologies for costly, life-saving physician administered drugs (PAD) typically chemotherapy or specialty medications. 

  • Delaware is creating a preferred drug list (PDL) that will outline the preferred drugs for use that maximize savings and collaboration across drug purchasing state agencies. 

  • Oklahoma will tie quality and outcomes to value based drug purchasing. 

We will be tracking the progress of these pilot states and other developments of the Center for State Drug Pricing in future editions of HPN. 

PCG’s team took #NASHPCONF17 as an opportunity to debut some new materials of particular relevance to the conference and the prevailing themes in health policy, including a 1332 State Innovation Waiver toolkit. This toolkit aims to guide states through the pre-waiver decision making process as well as all aspects of the drafting process. It is an interactive resource that includes insights from previously filed waivers, federal regulations, and aggregates all federal regulations for state health policy leaders. We are pleased to share this resource with our larger audience, which you can access here, and as always contact us with any questions at