Our Blog

(January 02, 2018)

While 2017 has been a tumultuous year for everyone committed to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans, we are grateful that our firm has had many opportunities to help improve Medicaid programs across the country.  As a mission-focused health policy and communications consulting firm, we are proud to provide our clients with the end-to-end support they need to design, implement, and operate their public health care programs in an effective and sustainable manner. Our work has spanned 10 states and more than a dozen localities over the past two years and we look forward to opportunities to continue to share our expertise and lessons learned in 2018. ...

(December 13, 2017)

Looking for a gift for the health policy wonk in your life?  Or need a good read while you’re taking time off this holiday season? The Harbage team read a diverse set of books this year that, in addition to being entertaining, we feel share vital lessons about our health care system and convey important ideas for consideration as we shape the future of health care policy....

(November 30, 2017)

By Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation

Recently, the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the future direction of the agency’s priorities. The RFI noted that CMS was seeking feedback on “a new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.”...

(October 31, 2017)

By Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation
and Jennifer Ryan, Vice President

A community paramedic is a medically trained first responder who provides primary and preventive care services designed to reduce patients’ need for hospital visits. In many parts of the country, they are often part of a home visiting team that provides follow-up care and medication management to people recently discharged from a hospital. ...

(October 25, 2017)

By Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy
and Erynne Jones, Senior Policy Consultant


Youth and their family members who seek treatment for addiction in California must navigate a complicated public health care system where physical health, mental health, and substance use disorders (SUD) services are administered by different entities and often, in an uncoordinated fashion. And accessing treatment is not easy – navigating between multiple health care delivery systems that are not well coordinated can be especially complicated for youth and their families....

(October 17, 2017)

By Jennifer Ryan, Vice President; Tanya Schwartz, Director, Medicaid Policy; and Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy

One would need to be completely “off the grid” to not be aware of the opioid crisis that has overtaken the country. Alarming and heart wrenching stories about the surprising range of victims of the substance use epidemic top the news headlines on a daily basis. The death rate due to drug overdoses has exceeded car accidents as the leading cause of death among adults under age 50 – since 2000, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin) has increased by 200%....

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications.