5 Things Texas: Capitol Insiders, Medicaid managed care, Behavioral Health

Our 2019 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference will be here on February 5th, 2019 – now less than four weeks away!  If you missed the release of our Detailed Agenda, you can check out the list of speakers we have curated for this year’s event right here.

Because our conference consists of topics that the broader Texas health care community is following, our 5 Things newsletter this month features some of those same topics which you’ll see at this year’s event now less than one month away. 


DJ 5 Things Signature


With help from Emily Boerger.

1.  Capitol insiders talk about the session

In what is always one of our most well attended sessions, we’ll host three of Austin’s most well respected health care lobbyists for a session to talk through where the 2019 Texas legislature might be headed.  This is a can’t miss, signature session of our State of Reform conference…

Nora Belcher of the Texas e-Health Alliance and Tom Banning of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians will be joined by Ryan Clay of the Texas Star Alliance.  These three will talk through what they’re hearing about the session, where the movement might be on health policy, and will take your questions on what is to come.


2.  Reforming the Medicaid managed care model

One of the biggest topics of conversation over the past year in Texas health policy is the success and challenges of the Medicaid managed care model. Following the successful negotiation of the 1115 waiver, challenges arose in HHSC’s procurement of Medicaid. Legislators followed up with convening work groups to get issues out on the table ahead of the legislative session.

So, we are honored to have a diversity of perspectives included in this 1:45 pm session.  Deane Waldman, MD, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, will be joined by Carolyn Ingram of Molina and Jaime Dudensing of the Texas Association of Health Plans. Bring your questions and insights to what is sure to be a complex topic.


3. State of Reform’s Annual Report for 2018

As the new year begins, we wanted to take a moment and reflect with you on what your support of State of Reform has allowed us to accomplish – as well as highlight where we are going in 2019.  So, we’ve created our 2018 Annual Report, offering a few details about our progress in the last year.

Last year, we published 945 original stories, of which 108 stories covered health care in Texas. We hosted a total of 34 events – and we head into our third annual event in Austin on February 5th.  For 2019, we will hold a second event in Texas in Dallas this fall.  So, thanks for being such great wind in the sails of our work together in 2018 as we grow and expand State of Reform into 2019!

4.  AI, Tech, and the Looming Disruption to Health Care

There are a range of technology organizations seeking to disrupt the traditional model of health care delivery and financing. Next month, at our “AI, Tech, and the Looming Disruption to Health Care” panel, a group of tech leaders will discuss some of these future disruptions and finding pathways that add value.

Speaking on this panel is Dilek Barlow, Senior Director of Government Solutions at Wildflower Health, Kristine Ashcraft, CEO of YouScript, and Clinton Phillips, CEO/Founder of Medici MD. For a preview of what some of our speakers are working on, take a look at this “What They’re Watching” video, where Barlow discusses Wildflower Health’s use of mobile apps to lower the maternal mortality rate. And you can learn more about YouScript and pharmaco-genetic testing in the video below with Ashcraft.


5.  Strategies to improve behavioral health

While the connection between behavioral health and physical health outcomes is becoming increasingly apparent, it’s not as clear that the behavioral health system is rising to meet the new demand and interest from the market.  A provider shortage, low levels of technology adoption and a limited number of interfaces with the physical health world all make progress a challenge.

So, we’ve pulled together three of the most thoughtful voices in Texas behavioral health care to talk through the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2019.  Mark Heit is the Chief Partnership Officer at Beacon Health Options.  He will be joined by John Petrila, Vice President of Adult Policy at the Meadows Mental Health Institute and Catherine Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer at Community Health Choice.  Together, they will discuss both the market and policy activity in behavioral health ahead in 2019.