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History and Mission

The Health Industry Forum was established by a grant from Aetna in 2004. The Health Industry Forum initially recruited about a dozen companies to join the Forum, with about half joining as Charter members – serving on the Advisory Board and providing a higher level of financial support.

The Board first met in 2005, and established the following mission statement to guide HIF’s focus and activities:

“Our mission is to develop practical, actionable, market-oriented strategies to improve the quality and value of the U.S. healthcare system. To support this mission, the Forum sponsors independent, objective policy analysis, and provides a range of neutral venues where healthcare leaders and other stakeholders work together to develop strategies and solutions.”

Based on this mission the Forum’s initial activities focused on several principal areas:

Conferences. Small, senior-level, interactive meetings that focus on presenting evidence, highlighting innovative programs, clarifying the real issues in divisive policy debates, and developing consensus on options for moving forward.

Research. Establishing an external grant process to fund health service research projects that provide insight into innovative health care management programs.

The Forum’s conferences immediately elicited strong enthusiasm from Forum members and invited participants. At the same time, the Forum initiated a round of grants to evaluate innovative disease management programs – a focus that was agreed upon and funded by Aetna at the start of the Forum. However, in October 2006, the Board recognized the challenges of running a small grant-making operation, and agreed that HIF should focus on conferences and policy analysis.

As part of this new direction, the Forum established several small multi-stakeholder workgroups to identify priorities, develop concepts for future Forum meetings, and prepare policy analyses supporting these areas.

The Health Industry Forum has developed themes to guide policy analysis and conferences, and has focused on the following three areas:

Designing reforms to drive a more effective healthcare system. Promoting innovative programs that improve the quality and effectiveness of health care through payment policy, benefit design, consumer financial incentives, and more effective use of performance data.

Improving evidence for decision makers. Developing effective mechanisms for clinical data collection, determining appropriate uses for observational data, funding and organizing comparative effectiveness research, and developing processes for applying evidence to policy.

Promoting value-enhancing innovation. Developing business models and public policies to accelerate adoption of high value activities, and generate better evidence for products and practices of uncertain value.