Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy (CHIP)

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Our Mission and Work

The mission of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy is to inform and influence patient centered, evidence informed public policy on behalf of complementary and integrative healthcare providers and patients.

As the primary health policy and advocacy division of the University, CHIP works closely with members of our faculty and administration – and policy-makers – to prepare Northwestern graduates for the new opportunities and responsibilities that are emerging as a result of healthcare reform.

Informing and influencing public policy

Changing public policy, perceptions, laws and guidelines related to health care takes cooperative and coordinated efforts. Northwestern is at the forefront of these advocacy efforts through the work of CHIP, which focuses on:

  • Creating and sharing new ideas on trends in the healthcare marketplace
  • Disseminating information to health professionals, policymakers, healthcare organizations and Northwestern’s campus community
  • Informing state and national legislation related to complementary and integrative health care
  • Developing innovative and strategic relationships with others in the healthcare community
  • Communicating health policy statements on behalf of the University
  • Representing the University at regional and national health policy forums
  • Participating in lobbying efforts at the State capitol and in Washington, D.C.
  • Hosting informational community forums on health care issues

The value we place on advocacy is deeply ingrained within our University – it is one of the key tenets of our mission. Yet our efforts extend far beyond the walls of our institution to benefit the public’s health and impact the future of our professions and our community.

Our Current Advocacy Focus

Under the leadership of Dr. Michele Maiers, Executive Director of Research and Innovation, CHIP is spearheading Minnesota Fair Care -- a coalition of patient and provider advocates and organizations supporting choice, access, and equitable insurance reimbursement.

The Minnesota Fair Care Coalition has introduced legislation in the Minnesota House and Senate titled the "Patient Rights and Provider Nondiscrimination Act." It seeks to address a variety of health plan practices and policies, including;

  • Lower reimbursement rates for certain categories of providers who are delivering the same services as other provider types
  • Limits to the number of allowable visits to some categories of providers -- but not others
  • Limits on the amount of payment for a service provided by a licensed, registered, or certified provider acting within the provider's scope of practice
  • Limits on the number of providers in the health plan's network
  • Eliminating or restricting covered services that are otherwise within the provider's scope of practice

The Coalition has published a MN Fair Care White Paper providing, in greater detail, the issues and barriers faced by patients and providers in Minnesota

For more information, contact Dr. Michele Maiers at mmaiers@nwhealth.edu

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