National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation

2013-03-11_1424The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives from healthcare providers, payers, manufacturers and other health sectors, announced today that it will host a summit meeting on March 2 in Washington, DC to address how evolving healthcare payment and delivery systems can encourage innovation and achieve greater value and financial sustainability.The summit, according to HLC President Mary R. Grealy, will include leaders from all health sectors as well as the legislative and executive branches of government, employers, academia and patient advocacy organizations. The meeting is part of HLC’s National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI) initiative, a project designed to bring diverse interests together to develop consensus approaches on issues affecting healthcare progress.

“There are a lot of voices out there talking about healthcare costs, value, affordability and sustainability. We’re never going to develop a pathway, though, that will incentivize innovation and strengthen health system value until we bring everyone to the same table,” said Ms. Grealy. “The March 2 summit will, we hope, serve as a launchpad to develop ideas and policy directions that will bring sustainable value to healthcare payment and delivery systems.”

Ms. Grealy said the March 2 summit will be accompanied by academic research. NORC, an independent social science research organization based at the University of Chicago, will investigate, among other subjects, barriers to innovation within the current health policy structure and possible payment and delivery system alternatives that can both encourage medical advances to improve health and achieve cost stability. Also, she said, HLC envisions that Summit participants will continue collaborating after the March 2 event, working toward consensus ideas on the complex questions surrounding innovation and value.

The steering committee for the HLC initiative reflects, Ms. Grealy said, the strong interest at all points of the healthcare continuum in bringing a collaborative approach to these issues. Steering committee members include Aetna, Amgen, Ascension, Cardinal Health, C.R. Bard, Edwards Lifesciences, Emdeon, Eli Lilly & Company, Health Care Service Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, MemorialCare Health System, Merck, Premier healthcare alliance, Sanofi, SCAN Health Plan and ZS Associates.

“The stakes here are incalculable,” said Ms. Grealy. “Aligning modern-day leaps in healthcare progress with systems that are financially affordable and sustainable is not an option, it’s an imperative. We need to begin defining a future for American healthcare in which all patients and consumers have access to the innovations in all health sectors that are saving, extending and transforming lives. It’s time for all voices and interests to come together to meet this challenge.”

The March 2 summit will take place at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

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For decades, innovation has been the hallmark of American healthcare.

And, in order to meet the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow – achieving better patient outcomes, controlling costs, conquering chronic disease – innovation must continue to be the driving engine of our country’s healthcare system.

Yet, how do we make certain that we have the policies and systems in place to develop and deliver new lifesaving medicines, technologies and healthcare practices to patients? Answering that question requires addressing a host of innovation-focused issues, from reimbursement policies to liability reform to physician-industry collaboration.

To work toward a productive consensus on these issues, the Healthcare Leadership Council has formed the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI).  The NDHI is a forum in which leaders from private sector healthcare, government, academia and patient and consumer organizations can come together to discuss the critical, complex issues that set the course for healthcare’s future.

As HLC president Mary R. Grealy said, in announcing the NDHI, “With this new initiative, we want to avoid the political rancor that has too often been a part of health policy debates. We’re going to bring together thought leaders who have diverse points of view but the same goal – encouraging the innovations that help people live longer, healthier lives.”

Currently, the NDHI initiative is bringing together leaders from multiple sectors to develop a consensus approach to physician-industry collaboration, underscoring the importance of these relationships in advancing patient-centered medical innovation while also emphasizing the need for transparency and independent scientific judgment.