The National Roundtable on Health Care Quality was established in 1995 by the Institute of Medicine. The Roundtable consists of experts formally appointed through procedures of the National Research Council (NRC) who represent both public and private-sector perspectives and appropriate areas of substantive expertise (not organizations). From the public sector, heads of appropriate Federal agencies serve. It offers a unique, nonadversarial environment to explore ongoing rapid changes in the medical marketplace and the implications of these changes for the quality of health and health care in this nation. The Roundtable has a liaison panel focused on quality of care in managed care organizations. The Roundtable convenes nationally prominent representatives of the private and public sector (regional, state and federal), academia, patients, and the health media to analyze unfolding issues concerning quality, to hold workshops and commission papers on significant topics, and when appropriate, to produce periodic statements for the nation on quality of care matters. By providing a structured opportunity for regular communication and interaction, the Roundtable fosters candid discussion among individuals who represent various sides of a given issue.