Health Care Forum on Business Strategies

NCHC Writer
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Following the 1992-94 health reform debate, the National Coalition on Health Care concluded that public education was a vital ingredient missing from the national dialogue on health care reform. The Coalition responded by developing a program designed fo r senior business leaders in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL, in a series of Fall 1995 forums. These colloquia, co-sponsored and funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, addressed the issues of cost containmen t, quality care, and consolidation within the health care delivery system at the national, regional and local levels. The morning session focused on private sector issues and cost containment strategies used by local business leaders. The afternoon sess ion examined the rapidly changing landscape in the local health care delivery systems, featuring representatives from local HMOs and hospital networks. The session concluded with a discussion of the increasingly serious issue of quality health care and o utcomes research. To attract an audience comprised of CEOs, CFOs, senior vice presidents for compensation and benefits, and directors of human resources, the Coalition worked cooperatively with the Pacific Business Group on Health, the New York Business Group on Health, Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration, the Midwest Business Group on Health, and with Coalition members Southern California Edison Company and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company. The conferences were standing-room-only, with a total of 1,200 participants.

      The overwhelming response was due in part to the caliber of speakers who the Coalition attracted, including President Jimmy Carter, Fran Bastien of Digital Equipment Corporation, Dr. Chris Bisgard of Delta Airlines, Lawrence English of CIGNA HealthCare, Mark Goldberg of the Yale School of Management, Fred Hamacher and Ed Wingate of Dayton Hudson Corporation, Margaret Jordan of Southern California Edison Company, Dr. Lucian Leape of the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. David Lawrence of Kaiser Foundat ion Health Plan, Inc., Dr. George Lundberg of the Journal of American Medical Association, Dr. Arnold Milstein of the Pacific Business Group on Health, Susan Moriconi of Hewlett-Packard Company, Dr. Richard Nesson of Partners HealthCare System, Inc., Char lie Pryde of the Ford Motor Company, Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University, Dr. Steven Schroeder of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. David Skinner of The New York Hospital and Dr. John Wennberg of the Dartmouth Medical School.1998 Executive Business Series:

Coalition Briefs Business Leaders in Denver, Des Moines

    More than forty CEO’s of major national corporations and local businesses attended Executive Briefings on Health Care conducted by the Coalition in Denver and Des Moines this spring.

   The Coalition developed the Executive Briefing Series in response to feedback from previous conferences. The sessions were structured to focus beyond the immediate cost issues surrounding the provision of health care benefits to include a broader unde rstanding of the meaningful role that business has in determining the nation’s future health care environment.

Denver Meeting

   The Coalition’s Denver meeting was co-sponsored by the Kauvar Foundation and the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Attendees included CEO’s, Chairmen, Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents who gathered at the University of Denve r’s Phipps Mansion for a four-hour session on March 31st. The meeting began with welcoming remarks by James D. Griesemer, Ph.D., Dean of the Daniels College of Business, and Abe Kauvar, M.D., Founder and President of the Kauvar F oundation. The session was facilitated by Michael Maccoby, President, Maccoby Consulting.

   The participants voiced concern about rising health care costs, a lack of public understanding of health care as a “system,” a need for universal insurance coverage and a common definition of health care quality.

   Dr. Henry Simmons, the Coalition’s President, provided the group with an overview of the current state of the health care system. During the luncheon, Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., of Tulane University explained the rising costs of health care and the implications for business.

Des Moines Meeting

    The meeting in Des Moines on April 2nd was sponsored by the Iowa Business Council and was similar in content and structure to Denver’s. Governor Robert D. Ray, former Governor of Iowa and Co-Chairman of the Coalition, opened the meet ing and set the framework for the morning discussion. Participants in Des Moines voiced similar concerns about the cost, quality and access to health care as had the Denver participants.

    The Coalition is planning additional meetings around the country to continue to challenge America’s most innovative, resourceful business minds to apply their collective expertise to understanding the issues and exploring possible solutions to the problems facing this country’s health care system

    The Executive Briefing Series is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.