Public Policy

Through its collective effort with the patient advocacy community, the National Health Council (NHC) has created momentum in Washington, DC, for health care stakeholders and policy makers to recognize patients as an essential part of health care policy discussions. At the heart of all major policy issues the NHC conducts is an unwavering commitment to Putting Patients First®.

Policy Issues

The National Health Council (NHC) harnesses the collective power of the patient community to address systemic health care issues that affect all patients. We speak with one unified voice to bring about meaningful change in such areas as support for access to effective and affordable health care for all people, speedier development of new medications, and health research. Our public policy positions reflect the broad input of our member organizations, which represent all segments of the health care community.

Together, we work to bring about a health care system committed to Putting Patients First®.

Our advocacy efforts are guided by an advisory group of senior staff from patient advocacy groups. Representatives from all membership categories also help to identify priorities and develop strategies. In addition, we work with coalitions of like-minded organizations to advocate for policies that help people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers.In 2019, the NHC’s public policy priorities are outlined in this policy matrix.

For each of our policy priorities, we develop a set of principles to guide our policy and advocacy work. See a current set of principles.

Patient Engagement

Patients should be able to share their perspective about living with their condition and existing treatment options to inform the drug research, development, and regulatory processes. The NHC is working to address current barriers to patient engagement.

Health Care Reform

Throughout efforts to reshape the health care system, the NHC continues to advocate for affordable access to health care, especially for people with chronic conditions. Learn more about our activities related to health care reform. 

Reducing Health Care Costs

Health care costs are a major concern for patients across the United States. The NHC launched our Health Care Costs Initiative in 2016 and has been tracking and responding to efforts to reduce health care costs, such as the Trump Administration’s Drug Pricing Blueprint. View more on Health Care Costs.

Value Initiative

As traditional fee-for-service gives way to value-based payment, understanding the “value” of health care has become a national priority. The National Health Council is focused on ensuring the voice of the patient and patient organizations are an integral part of the value discussion. Learn More.

Letters and Comments

Access all NHC public policy comments and other letters. Read More.

Educational Programs - Quality

Our first online educational series, Increasing Patient-Community Capacity to Engage on Quality of Health Care is now available (at no charge!).  The series focuses on how patients and patient organizations can become advocates for quality measurement. Each of the six modules takes between 10-15 minutes to complete. Access the educational series.

Real-World Evidence

As real-world evidence continues to gain importance for health researchers, policymakers, and regulators, patients must be a primary focus. On July 31, 2017, the National Health Council convened a multi-stakeholder roundtable to gain patient perspectives on real-world evidence.

Policy Archive

Access the archive of public policy documents, announcements, and webpages.