Delaware Uses Techniques From AHRQ Workshop to Support Policy
Delaware State employees are using the techniques presented at an AHRQ User Liaison Program (ULP) workshop in their daily tasks of presenting budget options and supporting policy decisions. Robert L. Scoglietti, the State's deputy budget director, found his workshop experience "far and away the best professional development opportunity I have experienced in my 17 years of state government."
"Ren 2002" was one of a series of hands-on, five-day ULP workshops bringing together 35 State budget analysts and health care program analysts for training sessions led by senior researchers and policymakers from around the country. Held at the Rensselaerville Institute Conference Center in Rensselaerville, New York, the interactive workshop provided a systematic approach for analyzing complex policy issues. The leaders used presentations, discussions, small group exercises, and a case study to enhance participants' policy analysis and research skills.
Scoglietti is often responsible for formulating funding recommendations dealing with health care issues and the ULP workshop has helped him do that. Ren 2002 participants were asked to formulate a workable set of policies to fund long-term care services in the face of a severe budget shortfall in the hypothetical State of Confusion.
In particular, Scoglietti values the objective and data-driven methods he was shown at the workshop. He believes that everyone in the policy development hierarchy needs to understand evidence-based methods. "Having a common approach facilitates communication between health care and budget staffs," he notes. He adds that "the analysis [the health care analysts] produce must be thoroughly understood by those down the line in the policy-making process, from higher level managers within a health care agency through budget folks like myself."