What They’re Watching: Sue Birch, Washington State Health Care Authority


Eli Kirshbaum


“The momentum around transformation” is the most important thing happening in Washington healthcare policy, according to Washington State Health Care Authority Director Sue Birch. During our 2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference in January, we sat down with Birch to hear about what she thinks should be top-of-mind for healthcare policymakers.

“The Health Care Authority will continue to be a driver of innovations around value-based purchasing. We’ll also have significant efforts going on around data transparency and cost containment.

We have the Health Care Cost Transparency Board, and they are really in pursuit of reconciling all the variation and confusion around, ‘What are the true costs of healthcare?’ Because we have a benchmark that has been set, and we really want to curtail some of this kind of outrageous cost trend growth that we’ve seen, which quite frankly is unacceptable because it keeps crowding out other parts of society that need necessary funding.”