Policy Memo Full Practice Authority
Health Policy Memo Memo Full Practice Authority:
Construct a concise, well-argued memorandum to the policy decision-maker of your choice about a
current, specific health policy issue. The memo should be no more than 1,000 words (about two pages
single-spaced, not counting any annex), and must use the following structure:
1. BLUF Statement or “Bottom Line Up Front”
• States the problem in terms specific to the goal of the decision-maker. Directly addresses the
decision-maker’s needs in the opening lines.
• Tells the decision-maker what policy change is (or is not) needed.
• Be careful to focus on the problem and the change you recommend, not the background.
2. Explanation of the pros and cons leading up to your recommendations
• Review the current policy (status quo) – What is it and why is it done this way? Assess briefly
how well it is or is not working.
• Statement on the necessity for change – What new circumstances have called the status quo into
• Discuss the alternatives to the current policy by enumerating and explaining each policy option in
• Explain the pros and cons of each policy option (including the current policy or status quo). You
may select pros and cons through the lens of (1) political feasibility, (2) economic feasibility/cost
effectiveness, (3) administrative feasibility, (4) equity, and/or (5) other rationales such as national
security or environmental consequences.
3. Explanation of the Recommendations for policy Memo Full Practice Authority
• Identify which option will be recommended and which options will be discarded.
• Lay out the argument for why that option is better than each of the others.
4. Implementation or Next Steps
• Briefly identify how and when to implement your recommendation. If there are significant risks,
costs, or obstacles associated with implementation, you should discuss them in the earlier section
that describes the pros and cons of the policy options. This section should be dedicated to the
feasibility and mechanics of implementation.
5. Conclusion on policy Memo Full Practice Authority
• Return to the big picture: What is the goal of your policy recommendation? What will happen if
the decision-maker implements the recommendation? What will happen if she/he does not?
(Remember voters if the decision-maker is often an elected official.) This is your opportunity to
remind your reader of the urgency of your recommendation.
• You may optionally attach one chart, graph, or table.
Recommended Source to Explore Topics for Policy Memo: Kaiser Health News (https://khn.org/)
Recommended Source to Explore Professional Memo Format:
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