Public Sector Consultants commonly is referred to as a “think tank.” We have a well-deserved reputation for objective reports on health policy issues. Balanced, in-depth, and insightful, these analyses translate the complex jargon of health care into clear assessments of issues and their implications for the state or a particular organization or sector. We are equally adept at detailed reports and cogent articles. Our clients commission our studies to illuminate the policy debate and to clarify their internal planning.
Surveys and Focus Groups
Recognizing the perspectives of different audiences is essential to health policy research. We use surveys and focus groups to help clients gain insight from people whose views and behavior they need to understand. Mail and telephone polling enables clients to obtain a broad response on specific questions of interest.
Increasingly, clients look to focus groups to assess not only what people think about issues, but why they think as they do. Although most focus groups contain only eight to twelve participants, they provide a window into the thinking of the public, business leaders, or another of a client's constituent groups. As organizations realize that they can no longer reliably guess what their constituents think, they look to us to conduct surveys and focus groups.
Community Health Assessments
In community health assessments, PSC combines its research, survey, and focus group expertise. We have worked with three major clients—coalitions comprising health providers, public health departments, business, and other nonprofit human service agencies—to prepare comprehensive reports on counties' health strengths and problems. These assessments encompass everything from objective research on health indicators (risk behavior, cancer rates, teen pregnancy, crime, health care costs, education, to list a few) to surveys, focus groups, and interviews with community leaders. Such assessments are a portrait of a community, and they are drawn from research and from the opinions of people from all segments of a community's leadership and populace.
An assessment is not an end in itself, but rather the foundation for concerted efforts to address the problems that a community deems most urgent. We are experienced in building consensus among diverse interests and can help formulate a plan to meet the needs identified in a community assessment.
Group Facilitation and Staffing
Bringing together diverse parties and moving them toward consensus is an integral part of PSC's health division. We have staffed and facilitated numerous state and regional task forces and coalitions dealing with such matters as AIDS/HIV, infant mortality, substance abuse, health professionals' education and training, business/hospital issues, and consumer health issues. To these efforts we offer organizing skills (group facilitation, agenda preparation, member recruitment, long-range planning) and policy expertise. We know how to define the scope of a group's work, encourage all members to actively participate, and help move the process to a timely completion. The product of each task force/coalition has been a report with recommendations to change public policy.
Legislation, administrative rules, and personnel changes in the executive and legislative branches can significantly affect an organization. Because of our knowledge of health policy and our links to state policymakers, we are uniquely positioned to help clients anticipate and respond to changes in health policy. We frequently lead strategic planning meetings for our clients, at which we explain the health policy climate in Lansing and Washington, and we work with the client's senior staff to plan the organization's strategy or response to given health care issues.
Areas of Expertise
- Access to health care
- Community health assessments
- Managed care
- Quality of health care
- Health care spending and costs
- Health insurance
- Community governance in health care
- Small market insurance reform and pooling
- Health professions' work force and education
- Health status indicators and risk behaviors (smoking, drinking, and others)
- Hospitals in the changing marketplace
- Consumer information
- Public health
- Certificate of Need
- Health delivery system and finance reform
- Community health planning
- Physician issues
- Substance abuse
- General state and national health care reform
- State government health spending