Public policy has far-reaching implications for the highly regulated healthcare industry. Staying informed and actively engaging in impactful government policy discussions and decision-making is a must for healthcare innovators to ensure that those policies align with their vision for growth.

Here are five reasons why the healthcare industry should pay particular attention to public policy:

  1. Impact on patient care: Public policy decisions shape the delivery of healthcare services and patient care. Policies related to quality and patient safety shape access to and affordability of care and the scope of services that healthcare professionals can provide. Tracking, understanding, and appropriately engaging with policymakers is critical to ensuring that regulations support innovation while advancing high-quality care.
  2. Workforce and professional issues: Workforce policies addressing key issues such as licensure and scope of practice increasingly impact healthcare and are inevitably linked to growing challenges including clinician reach and availability.
  3. Funding and resources: Public policy determines the allocation of healthcare funding and resources, awarding coverage and payment for certain healthcare services, infrastructure, and technology. Decisions regarding healthcare spending, funding for research, public health initiatives, and healthcare facility expansion all stem from state and federal public policy decisions. Healthcare stakeholders need to be aware of these policy decisions, and how to influence them, in order to shape and align with the programs and requirements to which these resources are subject.
  4. Patient empowerment: All healthcare stakeholders should play a vital role in advocating for policies that improve patient access, equity, and outcomes. By engaging in public policy discussions, unique perspectives, expertise, and experiences can shape policies that address the needs of patients and their ability to leverage their own data.
  5. Anticipating future changes: Public policy very often signals upcoming changes in the healthcare landscape. By staying informed, healthcare organizations can anticipate policy shifts, regulatory updates, and other emerging trends.

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