2020 National Health Council Policy Matrix


By Maddie Mason, Senior Associate, Policy

Each year the National Health Council’s (NHC’s) Board Policy Committee develops a Policy Matrix that is intended to serve as a road map for policy initiatives that aids the NHC in achieving our mission of providing a united voice for the 160 million people living with chronic diseases and their family caregivers. The matrix consists of health care issues that have been deemed as the most pressing policy concerns for patients.

Developed by our Board Policy Committee and approved by our Board of Directors each year, the Policy Matrix is crafted after input from our members. Such input is received through completion of our annual issue survey and in monthly action team meetings and our Washington Representatives Retreat in November. If your organization would like to become more involved in the policy-making process, please reach out to Senior Associate of Policy, Maddie Mason.

These issues are rated on a scale that determines the degree to which the NHC can impact, and the importance that these issues have amongst the patient advocacy community.

The Matrix is divided into four quadrants: Engage as Needed, Lead, Monitor, and Partner.


  • Medical Innovation
  • User Fee Reauthorization
  • Patient/ Caregiver Engagement
  • Clinical Outcomes Assessments (COAs)/ Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs)
  • Patient Access and Affordability
  • Reducing Access Barriers
  • Reducing Health Care Costs
  • Part D Out-of-Pocket (OOP) Cap
  • System-Wide Transparency
  • Competition
  • High-Value Care
  • Value Assessment
  • Personalized Health
  • Innovative Payment Models
  • Health Systems and Sustainability
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Stabilization
  • Health Care Financing


  • Health Appropriations
  • PCORI Reauthorization (which has since been accomplished)
  • Opioids and Pain Management

Engage as Needed

  • Real World Evidence
  • Quality Measurement
  • Biosimilars


  • Opening Medicare Access
  • Health IT Interoperability
  • Health Professions Workforce

The most noteworthy changes to the 2020 Policy Matrix from the 2019 Policy Matrix include:

  • The Medicare Part D OOP Cap was moved into the Lead quadrant under Patient Access and Affordability from the Partner quadrant. The NHC will continue to work with our member organizations to advocate for an OOP cap with a smoothing mechanism that will spread costs throughout the calendar year;
  • Opening Medicare Access (i.e., Medicare for All) was moved into the Monitor quadrant from the Lead quadrant; and
  • Payment Models were updated to “Innovative Payment Models,” and moved into the Lead quadrant under High-Value Care from the Monitor quadrant.

Updates to the 2020 Policy Matrix:

The Policy Matrix can evolve throughout the calendar year as the health care landscape and political climate shift, but approval by the Board is required for changes to be officially made. For example, the results of the Democratic Primary could raise the priority level of opening Medicare access because it will become more important for the patient advocacy community to weigh-in.

One noteworthy accomplishment is the Reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI) through 2029. The 2020 Policy Matrix was finalized at the December Board meeting before the reauthorization was completed.

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 Policy Matrix, please reach out to Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs, Eric Gascho.