L&M Policy Research

Dedicated to providing high-quality research to assist government and private organizations in improving health care across the United States.

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Who is L&M?

Founded in 2004, L&M combines a deep knowledge of public and private health care issues with extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods and health services management and operations.

L&M is a women- and minority-owned health policy research firm and an 8(a) graduate.

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Alyson Marano Ward, R.N., M.P.H.

Senior Researcher

Alyson Marano Ward bio image

Alyson Marano Ward, R.N., M.P.H., is a senior researcher at L&M with more than twenty years of experience working on public health policy issues and conducting program evaluation for a variety of audiences, including Medicare and Medicaid eligible populations. She has assisted with and extensively supported the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts related to Consumer Research on Communicating Coverage, Choice, and Quality, building upon the agency’s work in communications over the last decade to continue refining materials so that they promote informed choice among the public. Over the course of eight years and in collaboration with the Delmarva Medical Foundation, Ms. Ward served as project manager for the annual external review of Medicaid managed care plans for the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance (formerly the Medical Assistance Administration). Ms. Ward also conducted research on and with pharmacists exploring how their understanding of the Medicare program informs how they are able to support beneficiaries. In additions, she also helped conduct research on consumers’ reactions to available information on CMS’s Compare tools websites, including Dialysis Facility Compare, Hospital Compare, Home Health Compare, and Hospice Compare. Ms. Ward served as the clinical nurse on the research team assessing the Medicare Care Choices Model, a demonstration project allowing hospice-eligible Medicare beneficiaries the option to continue receiving curative care services administered through fee-for-service Medicare while receiving ‘traditional’ hospice services.

On behalf of CMS, Ms. Ward is currently conducting qualitative research efforts to inform the development of web tools for the federally facilitated health insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act. She is also working as member of the project team for the Division of Value, Incentives, and Quality Reporting (DVIQR) Program Support (DPS) task order to assist CMS with implementing the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program (HACRP), Deficit Reduction Act Hospital-Acquired Conditions Program (DRA HAC), Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value Based Payment (VBP) Program, and ancillary implementation support for other value based payment and public reporting programs. Her role includes: Conducting stakeholder interviews to inform the development of Education and Outreach (E&O) materials; Developing templates and user guides for Hospital-Specific Reports (HSRs), which are generated for each hospital that participates in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program; Developing a communication plan describing approaches for communicating updates to stakeholders for the HRRP, HACRP, and DRA HAC programs; Developing FAQs, Fact Sheets, E-mail blasts, and memos for the QualityNet website. Ms. Ward is also contributing to a project evaluating the impact of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model (HHVBP) Model conducting qualitative research with participating Home Health Agencies (HHAs.) Sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) this model is designed to support greater quality and efficiency of care among Medicare-certified Home Health Agencies (HHA) across the nation.

Ms. Ward holds a B.S.N. from Georgetown University and is Registered Nurse. She also earned her M.P.H. with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from the Boston University School of Public Health.