HLC launches National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives representing all sectors of American healthcare, announced Wednesday the formation of the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI), a forum in which leaders from private sector healthcare, government, academia and patient and consumer organizations will work together toward consensus on issues affecting healthcare innovation.

Co-chaired by David Barrett, MD, the CEO of the Lahey Clinic, and Bill Hawkins, the chairman and CEO of Medtronic, NDHI will convene a broad spectrum of leaders and organizations involved in healthcare delivery and policy for candid, transparent discussions of medical innovation in the United States, and the opportunities and challenges affecting its progress.

"Throughout the health reform debate, the aspect of American healthcare often overlooked was innovation," said HLC President Mary R. Grealy, announcing the formation of NDHI. "There has been an insufficient focus on how we can continue to develop and deliver new lifesaving medicines, technologies and healthcare practices to patients.

"With this new initiative, we want to avoid the political rancor that has too often been a part of health policy debates," she added. "We’re going to bring together leaders who have diverse points of view but the same goal: encouraging the innovations that help people live longer, healthier lives. Whether the NDHI focuses on physician-industry collaboration or Medicare reimbursement policies or product liability laws, our goal is to move away from gridlock and stalemate and move toward shared approaches to 21st century innovative healthcare.”

Barrett said the initiative was an important step toward better care. “If our healthcare system is to move toward improved quality and greater cost-efficiency, then continued medical innovation must play a critical role," he said. "To achieve a sustainable, affordable, innovative future for American healthcare, we need all stakeholders – from patients to providers to manufacturers to policymakers – involved in forging that path.”

"I am excited that so many leaders from across the healthcare innovation ecosystem – physicians, academicians, industry, policy makers, patients and others – are coming together through the NDHI to find ways to optimize innovation for the benefit of patients," added Hawkins.

The NDHI will convene a Summit on Physician-Industry Collaboration on October 4 in Washington, DC, the first of a series of planned forums.

"As the coalition's first event, the October summit will provide an ideal environment to ensure that principled collaboration is preserved and enhanced for the benefit of patients," said Hawkins.