Sanford Professor Appointed to Health-Care Reform Rulemaking Committee

Donald H. Taylor Jr., associate professor of public policy, has been appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a committee of 24 experts who will review and update criteria used to define medically underserved areas and health professional shortage areas. The new committee was mandated in health care reform measures approved by Congress in March.

A variety of federal and state programs use these designations to target health care resources. Communities with a shortage of health professionals can apply for placement of National Health Service Corps providers. The Medically Underserved Population designation is used as a basis for awarding grants to community health centers located in underserved communities. Also, physicians who work in HPSAs receive a bonus payment under Medicare.

Taylor’s health policy research focuses on older Americans, Medicare and long-term care. He closely followed the health care reform debate in Congress since June 2009, writing a blog and a series of columns on the topic for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Taylor’s research dissertation at the UNC School of Public Health focused on identifying underserved areas. During a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre at the University of Manchester (U.K.), Taylor compared how the US and the UK conceive of, identify and respond to  underserved areas.

Other members of the committee include Dr. David Goodman, director at the Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Andrea Brassard, strategic policy advisor for the AARP, and Dr. Mark Babitz, director, Division of Family and Health Preparedness for the Utah Department of Health. The committee will begin meeting later in the year and plans to have draft final proposal in July 2011.