Zetema (Greek), 1. (n.) Inquiry, investigation, research, understanding. 2. (n.) Debate, points of disagreement.

The Zetema Project was founded in 2016 by Mark Zitter, a healthcare services entrepreneur concerned about the state of US healthcare. More specifically, Mark was worried that the poorly informed and non-productive national conversation about healthcare was unlikely to lead to positive changes in the system. He created Zetema as a way to improve the quality and productivity of that conversation.

The Zetema Project membership consists of a group of approximately 35 panelists representing a wide variety of political viewpoints and industry stakeholder groups. Members meet two to three times annually, with the first meeting held in January 2017 and the most recent meeting held in January 2018 . Zetema panelist meetings are closed to the public. Press attend by invitation only.

The January 2017 meeting explored the roles, records, and ramifications of government vs. private sector involvement in healthcare, as well as optimal functions going forward. Key issues discussed included:

  • The successes and shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act
  • Repeal and Replace options: pros and cons of the most likely options
  • What can we learn from 50 years of experience with Medicare?
  • The role of states: Medicaid experiments and other state-based initiatives
  • Who’s best at cost control, the federal government, states, or the private sector?

The September 2017 meeting featured a session with Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and focused on such issues as:

  • Reducing the cost of care delivery
  • Single payer healthcare/Medicare for All
  • Drug prices and costs
  • State innovation case study: the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative
  • Bipartisan opportunities for healthcare reform

The January 2018 meeting featured discussions on:

  • The future of healthcare reform
  • The role employers can play to positively impact healthcare costs
  • Activating healthcare consumers
  • The innovative primary care spend initiative implemented in Rhode Island
  • The future of provider reimbursement
  • The advantages and pitfalls of a public option
  • Strategies to improve care delivery for high utilizers of care
  • The role of profit in healthcare

Output from the meetings were released via the Project’s website and reported by journalists on site.

To maximize candor, all Zetema Project members and on-site press follow a modified Chatham House Rule. Under this policy, the list of attendees and all content discussed are made public but there is no attribution to individuals without their explicit consent. We feel that it’s more important to hear the arguments and counter-arguments than to know who said what. In fact, separating the statement from the speaker can focus attention on the merits of the argument itself, fostering reasoned thinking over partisan affiliation. Most panelists will express individually attributed views on our site via blog posts, live chats, and brief video statements throughout the year.

The Zetema Project is fully independent of any financial or political interests. All participants donate their time and pay their own travel expenses.

The project is funded by the chair, Mark Zitter. The Zetema Project is is a fiscally-sponsored project of Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation's largest fiscal sponsor.