Schaeffer Solutions

In the face of grave health policy challenges, federal and state policymakers—from the White House to Congress to state legislatures—have taken decisive action to improve the nation’s healthcare system. Where this progress has been made, it has often been spurred or supported by innovative research from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. Through its data-driven and interdisciplinary approach, Schaeffer Center fellows have developed and advanced transformative health policy solutions across the country.

Below are case studies that exemplify the impact the Schaeffer Center has had in key policy areas.

1. Reining in Prescription Drug Costs
This brief focuses on the role of the Schaeffer Center in demystifying the broken pharmaceutical distribution system and providing policy solutions that benefit patients. Through sophisticated and rigorous analysis of drug costs, the Schaeffer Center created an evidence-based playbook for federal and state policymakers to tackle distortions in the drug distribution system. Policymakers have heeded that call, adopting legislation to increase transparency and new rules on prescription drug rebates. Through timely analysis, peer-reviewed publications, op-eds, media engagement, and presentations to regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Schaeffer Center is the go-to resource for insight and policy on reining in prescription drug costs.

2. Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills
This case study focuses on the role of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy in developing robust policy analysis and informing the debate by analyzing and advancing solutions to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Starting in 2016, Schaeffer experts combined policy analysis and research to define the issue, elucidate the existence of a market failure, and analyze the effects of various policy solutions. Over the next four years, Schaeffer experts created an evidence-based playbook and established themselves as an unbiased resource to help federal and state policymakers tackle the market distortions that lead to surprise billing. In addition, a wide range of consumer advocates, analysts and journalists also relied on the expertise of the Schaeffer Initiative as the issue was defined and potential solutions were proposed.

3. Developing Innovative Payment Models for Prescription Drugs
Schaeffer Center fellows have long championed innovative prescription drug payment models and reforms, urging policymakers and private sector leaders to look to value-based options such as pay-for-performance or subscription models. While much work remains to be done, federal and state leaders have heeded this call for innovation. Through timely analysis, peer-reviewed publications, op-eds, and media engagement, the Schaeffer Center has and will continue to be the go-to resource for insight and policy solutions focused on innovative payment models for prescription drugs.

Learn more in our 10 year impact report

Read our 2020 annual report