Case Study: Shifting the Debate

The Roundtable on Critical Care Policy

Challenge: Critical care medicine —the care of patients whose illness or injuries present a significant danger to life, limb or organ function— faces shortages in the supply of personnel and resources as demand increases from the “baby boom” generation. And yet, in the course of active national policy deliberation over health care reform, the issue of improving quality, efficiency and outcomes in critical care was not considered in a structured manner. The community of critical care providers and the infrastructure on which they rely was fragmented, and no collaborative effort to define challenges or solutions had occurred.


Approach: Responding to thisfragmentation,Venn Strategies, LLC helped form the Roundtable on Critical Care Policy bringing together the nation’s critical care workforce, experts and industry to speak with a common and effective voice on key policy issues in Washington.


Results: Venn successfully orchestrated a first-ever symposium convening top U.S. medical professionals, academic societies, patient and public health advocacy groups and health care champions to identify common federal policy objectives to streamline and improve critical care policymaking. Through this conference and a forum on legislative consensus-building, the Roundtable delivered a list of policy concerns and objectives and secured Congressional support for sweeping legislation that prioritizes critical care and national preparedness.


Over the course of the next five years, Venn has continued to grow the Roundtable, bringing leaders from across the critical care community to the table—including clinicians, academia, public health advocates, industry, and many others from the broader health care community—to lend their expertise and add their voice to the Roundtable’s unique policy discussions. The work of the Roundtable is driven by three Working Groups, which convene to provide expertise and technical input on policy initiatives through regular discussion.


The Roundtable has also continued to host what is now its signature event, the National Summit on Critical Care Policy. For the past five years, 60-80 of the nation's most prominent healthcare decision-makers and critical care professionals, including Congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle, key officials from the Administration, medical professional societies, public health advocacy, academia and inside-the-beltway politics, gather in Washington D.C, to debate pressing policy issues related to the delivery of critical care and to discuss ways to ensure that the critical care system is prioritized in key national policy discussions.


Today, the Roundtable is recognized is a sought-after non-partisan resource for critical care policy expertise by Congress, the Administration and those organizations that drive federal policy. Recent successes have included:

  • Championing the introduction of the bipartisan Critical Care Assessment and Improvement Act in the House of Representatives in the 111th, 112th and 113th Congress.
  • Securing language in the Care Planning Act of 2013 regarding the need for improved communication about advanced illness between providers, individuals and family caregiver in the inpatient setting.
  • Securing language in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) signed into law by the President in Mach 2013 that would for the for the first time prioritize the nation’s critical care system within federal disaster planning efforts.
  • Securing language in the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2011 that would expand civil liability protection to all licensed health professionals, including nurses and physician assistants, providing health care services as a volunteer during a declared national disaster.
  • Placing op-eds authored by two Chairmen of the Roundtable’s Board of Directors in major inside-the-beltway publications highlighting the importance of advancing legislative priorities that recognize the unique nature of critical care.
  • Commenting on a number of administrative actions that would impact the critical care community including the implementation of electronic health records and drug shortages.


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