Impact and Advancements: National Health Council 2022 Accomplishments
By: Jennifer Schleman, Senior Vice President, Communications & Governance
For the National Health Council (NHC), 2022 saw the implementation of the first year of our new Strategic Plan and continued change at the organization and for our members.
We began to transition back to in person meetings and events after more than two and a half years of a pandemic. The NHC also moved into new offices, with expanded hybrid meeting capabilities that are available for use by NHC members as a benefit!
Through the changes and challenges, the NHC team delivered high-value resources, programming, and service to our members.
We thank our members for your continued support of the NHC and the more than 160 million Americans with chronic diseases and disabilities. Below are a few highlights of our 2022 accomplishments.
- The NHC hosted more than 270 events in 2022 that had more than 4,500 attendees.
- More than 124,000 people were reached by the NHC’s communications efforts.
- The NHC’s website had more than 285,000 visits.
Prioritizing and Advancing Health Equity
The NHC continued to build upon its health equity work in 2022. We:
- Released the NHC’s Health Equity Policy Proposals through a briefing to Congress, media, and NHC members and partners.
- CEO Randall Rutta moderated a panel at BIO International Conference with global patient advocacy leaders on areas of overlap and opportunity with the common goal of putting patients at the center of health care decision-making.
- Continued engagement with NHC members, Congress, and FDA on advancing diversity in clinical trials. Specifically, the NHC successfully advocated for inclusion of significant advances in FDA guidance and oversight of diversity in clinical trials in House-passed user fee legislation.
- Released DEI report based on fall webinar on how NHC members can implement DEI efforts in their organizations.
Advancing Health Policy Reforms
In advocacy and public policy, the NHC had several major accomplishments based on our outreach activities:
- We successfully advocated for fixing the “Family Glitch” through comments and testimony at the July IRS hearing in support of a pending rule to allow lower-income families to access ACA subsidies.
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA):
- Capped Part D out-of-pocket costs at $2000 and allows beneficiaries to pay in monthly installments.
- Extended enhanced ACA premium subsidies for 2 additional years.
- Congress reauthorized FDA user agreements, which included several NHC priorities such as increasing the patient voice in drug development, use of real-world evidence, use of digital tools in clinical trials, and increasing decentralized clinical trials.
- The FDA released its third Patient-Focused Drug Development Guidance, focused on clinical outcome assessments, which was significantly aligned with NHC’s prior recommendations.
Growing the NHC’s Research, Education & Programs Capacity
The NHC welcomed a new lead on our Research, Education & Programs Team, Dr. Omar A. Escontrías, supporting patient centricity by:
- Launching the Patient Experience Mapping Toolbox (PEMT) during February webinar briefing with NHC members and broad health ecosystem audience; tool dissemination; further implementation plans in progress.
- Completing the “3 Essential Questions” project on what every patient should ask when engaging with their health care provider. This project also expanded the utility of the Patient Experience Mapping Toolbox (PEMT).
- Launching Patient Centered-Core Impact Sets (PC-CIS) Blueprint. Awarded a Eugene Washington PCORI grant to develop listening sessions and a Dialogue to solicit feedback on the PC-CIS Blueprint. The NHC is currently exploring pilot testing of the PC-CIS Blueprint with NHC patient group members.
- Launch research series to inform membership on public health issues pertinent to patients with chronic disease. The first issue titled, Climate Change and Its Impact on Patient Health and the Health Care Ecosystem, was published in December 2022.
Supporting and Engaging Members
The NHC supported our members through a variety of member services and meetings:
- Gathered more than 120 VHA and nonprofit leaders and Board members at the annual Health Leadership Conference to exchange best practices and learn from leading experts in the health policy and association fields.
- Hosted the 2022 Science of Patient Engagement Symposium, with a theme centered on health equity, From Research to Action: Health Equity for All. The 2022 SPES drew close to 140 members.
- For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHC’s annual Washington Representatives Retreat was held in-person in Annapolis, MD. After last year’s virtual retreat, there was high demand to gather in-person with record turnout. This year’s retreat welcomed more than 100 participants across the NHC’s member network.
- Hosted two Large VHA meetings, one during Health Leadership Conference to explore meaningful engagement on policy and advocacy issues and a second in July discussing increasing patient access to care and eliminating barriers by engaging relevant sectors of the health ecosystem.