PR 2014 No. 05

Gibbons/PwC Healthcare Symposium Draws Hundreds

Industry Leaders Address Concerns of All Healthcare Stakeholders at Popular Program

More than 200 people representing various healthcare constituencies and employers, including providers, payors, advocates, and purchasers, attended “Healthcare Convergence: A Collision Course,” a comprehensive symposium hosted by Gibbons P.C. and PwC at the Woodbridge Hilton on January 30.

Leaders from a diverse range of healthcare and employer sectors led dynamic discussions on the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and the industry’s shift from fee-for-service, both of which have positioned “value-based purchasing” as the new healthcare delivery model and encouraged increased collaboration among payors, providers, and purchasers – stakeholders who, historically, have had competing interests. Speakers and panels examined current trends in the industry-wide effort to bend the cost curve in a favorable direction while maintaining high care standards, particularly through value-based purchasing, the use of purchasing power to influence quality.

The program’s keynote speaker was David Levy, M.D., a leading healthcare strategic thinker and successful entrepreneur who founded Franklin Health, an early care management company, and previously led the Global Healthcare Practice at PwC. Dr. Levy emphasized the critical gains in health, productivity, wealth, and longevity that he believes are likely to result from the healthcare industry’s realignment in favor of preventive and collaborative care, more open dialog between the public and private sectors, increased industrialization, and more precision-based services and therapies. He noted that science, demographics, and this country’s ongoing drive to innovate all support his conclusion.

The symposium’s first panel highlighted convergence and innovation and included a large, multi-specialty physician group; a PPO executive; an accountable care organization affiliated with a major regional medical center; and the New Jersey Hospital Association. These panelists discussed their organizations’ innovative partnering arrangements with each other, their communities, government agencies, and other stakeholders to focus on preventive care, as well as health care delivery models across the range of a patient’s medical needs. They also spoke of the need to align payment to incentivize all providers across the continuum to coordinate care, and to upgrade the industry’s infrastructure to facilitate better communication and data sharing.

Next, a panel convened to discuss the objectives, choices, and dilemmas the new healthcare delivery models present for purchasers, including an insurance broker and employee benefits consultant, financial and benefits executives of two multinational corporations, and the Partnership Manager for the Government Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The public sector representative expanded on collaborative care models that have been successful in keeping healthcare costs down without sacrificing quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The panel also discussed the dramatic transformation in the role of the insurance broker, who, beyond helping employers select the best carrier the best price, now serves a broader, more complex advisor and navigator role, all while helping smaller employer clients contend with new laws and often higher costs. The larger employers on the panel brought up new opportunities for cost savings and proactive care.

Heather Howard, Director of the State Health Reform Assistance Network at Princeton University and former Commissioner, NJ Department of Health, delivered closing remarks, which focused on government’s responsibility to citizens in terms of healthcare, and how the ACA is a first attempt to reconcile that responsibility with the economic concerns of providers, purchasers, and payors. In her estimation, the law is slowly beginning to inspire more efficiency on the government end, more productive healthcare partnerships among all kinds of constituencies, more effective delivery models, and lively competition in the private sector.

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