The board of directors of the Alliance for Health Policy is keenly aware that one of the principal assets of the Alliance is its reputation for fairness and balance in its programming. For 25 years, the Alliance has striven to present evidence-based, timely and civil discussions of issues facing policy makers in health, health care and long-term services and supports.
The Alliance board has therefore adopted this statement to guide Alliance staff as they plan and implement programming, and to give potential supporters of that programming a clearer idea of what they might expect as the program is shaped. The goal is to better assure that Alliance programs are in fact, and are perceived as being, balanced and fair presentations of the issues.
Three basic principles underlie this statement: (1) a fair presentation of the factual context of the issue at hand, and a balanced presentation of the views about that issue; (2) transparency in identifying financial supporters of all programming; and (3) maintaining Alliance accountability and responsibility for all important programming decisions.
Supporting Organization – A supporting organization is an organization that provides financial or in-kind resources to support the Alliance’s activities.
An Event Sponsor – An event sponsor is an entity that provides specific funding for an Alliance Briefing or other Alliance event. A supporting organization may be also an event sponsor if it specifically underwrites an Alliance event.
Briefing content. The Alliance is strictly nonpartisan. We do not advocate, lobby, or take positions on any legislative or regulatory matters. Consistent with our mission to provide balanced, nonpartisan education on timely health policy issues, it is critical for the Alliance to maintain our strong reputation as an honest broker in the health policy community. To that end, the Alliance will remain solely responsible for the editorial content of briefings and other events, including the subject to be covered, panelists to be invited and materials to be distributed. Suggestions from supporting organizations, including an event sponsor, are welcomed, but the Alliance retains final decision-making responsibility over our programming.
Participation on panels. The Alliance strives to provide a range of perspectives on briefing panels, including both policy expertise and on-the-ground practical knowledge imparted by leaders who are implementing health policies on a daily basis. No event sponsor that lobbies or takes advocacy positions on health policy issues may have an employee participate on a specific Alliance panel that it underwrites. Individuals employed by supporting organizations or event sponsors may be invited to provide introductory or closing remarks at Alliance events that they underwrite.
Communications with panelists. The Alliance will issue all official invitations to participate as a panelist, including those to substitute panelists as needed. The Alliance will arrange for and conduct all preparatory calls with panelists, with the goal of framing and guiding the discussion at the event.
Transparency and recognition of support. Sponsors will be appropriately recognized for their support of Alliance programming.
Balanced briefing support. When presenting issues with a clear difference of opinion among stakeholders, Alliance staff will work to assemble a balanced combination of event sponsors. We recognize that such balanced support will not be feasible in every instance. In every instance, however, Alliance staff will invite balanced viewpoints, even if one side of an argument is not represented by an event sponsor. In all instances, the Alliance will maintain sole discretion to invite and secure additional event sponsors.
Applicability. These policies apply to all supporting organizations and to any supporting organization or event sponsor contracted after August 1, 2016.