Firestorms about health spending are nothing new; indeed, the last half-century has seen nearly continual attention to the issue. That doesn’t mean that change is impossible. Recent efforts to address the problem are using a novel approach: collaboration.

Stakeholders representing a range of perspectives are increasingly working together to ask tough questions, examine spending drivers and focus on developing research-based solutions.

As a next step in enabling this important, multi-audience conversation, Health Affairs has announced the members of its Council on Health Care Spending and Value, a group of diverse health care experts convening to move this dialogue forward.

The Council, supported by the National Pharmaceutical Council and Anthem, Inc., takes a nonpartisan, evidence-based approach to understand how much the United States spends on health care, the benefits that are received in return and the steps that can be taken to maximize our nation’s health investments. The Council plans to dive into topics such as advancements in medical technology and biopharmaceuticals, population aging, rising prevalence of chronic disease, end-of-life care practices, administrative costs; wasteful or ineffective care and provider consolidation.

To help examine the different drivers of health care spending, the Council will be co-chaired by Senator William Frist, MD, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Margaret Hamburg, MD, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Medicine, and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. And NPC is pleased to announce that Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer and Executive Vice President, National Pharmaceutical Council, will be joining the group of 21 other stakeholders to help drive this important conversation. See the full list of members on the Health Affairs website. To learn more about the Council, read the announcement from Health Affairs’ editor-in-chief Alan Weil.

To stay up to date on the Council’s activities and the evolving health spending conversation, please sign up for the Going Below the Surface newsletter. This is part of a larger dialogue that is ongoing through Health Affairs’ “Considering Health Spending” series on the Health Affairs Blog.