What’s on the Horizon for Health Policy in 2017?

February 6, 2017 Heather Brotsos


briefcase_health_blue.pngLast week, I attended the 2017 AcademyHealth National Health Policy Forum in DC, where experts from government, industry, and academia convened to discuss, debate and predict top priorities for the year ahead. 

While speakers and attendees had wide-ranging expectations, their priorities generally fell into four major categories:

  • Health coverage
  • Health equity
  • Consumer experience
  • The transition from volume to value

Unsurprisingly, one subject top of mind for everyone in the room was the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and what options are available to repeal, replace, and repair. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) offered a briefing on the Patient Freedom Act which he cosponsored with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). This is one of a handful of options currently in the spotlight. In later sessions, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) each provided thoughts on how Congress will address the ACA. Senator Kaine underscored his passion for healthcare and readiness to work across party lines for an optimal solution.

In a separate session, one speaker described the upcoming guideposts to track for a glimpse into priorities for the Trump Administration:

  • February 6, 2017—President Trump submits budget request to Congress.
  • April 28, 2017—The Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.R. 2028) expires.
  • September 30, 2017—Authorized funding ends for FDA and CHIP, along with other agencies.

Other sessions included an update on advances with alternative payment models, research related to the opioid epidemic, tools to create a diverse health services workforce, and a discussion of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

The 2017 AcademyHealth National Health Policy Forum was a dynamic conference that brought together leading experts spanning many fields that are passionate about data, evidence, and health policy. One quote that really resonated with the work we do at Summit came from AcademyHealth President and CEO Lisa Simpson: “Data makes you credible. Stories make you memorable.”

Share This: