5 Things Utah: Utah’s Medicaid model, Cost of care, Federal health policy

In just over two weeks, we’ll be hosting the 2019 Utah State of Reform Health Policy Conference!  The big day is getting here quickly…

Now is the time to register to be with us on April 24th! The revenue generated from our conferences – from your registration – is what funds our health policy reporting all year round. So, we’d be thrilled to have you with us. And, since the things we watch in Utah health care are also things you’ll see on our Topical Agenda, we’ve featured a few of the sessions at this year’s event in this month’s newsletter.


1. The future of Utah’s Medicaid model

With a new model of Medicaid from the legislature, and a new waiver from CMS, things are moving quickly in Utah Medicaid. But, for all of the energy, it somehow feels more like the end of the beginning rather than the end of the reform conversation. Lots of road lies ahead for deepening reform efforts.

So, we’ve pulled together three really smart voices to discuss how best to continue the momentum in Utah Medicaid: Michael Hales of the University of Utah Health, Derek Monson of the Sutherland Institute and Stacy Stanford of the Utah Health Policy Project. This panel will discuss the future of Medicaid, and will get your thoughts in the mix through audience Q&A.


2.  The evolution of federal health policy

President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said this weekend that “We want to run on this (in 2020)… Republicans have better ideas than Democrats” on health care. On the other side of the aisle, the politics of the presidential primary is pushing the health policy conversation to the left. So, how federal policy takes shape in 2019 and 2020 will have downstream consequences for Utah health care.

At 2:45, the panel titled “The Shape of Federal Policy in 2019” will forecast the road ahead for our national health policy discussion. Speakers include folks from the University of Utah, Beacon Health Options, and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

3.  Reviewing the total cost of care in Utah

Cost is increasingly the most prominent topic in health care and health policy. Issues of benefits, eligibility, enrollment, contracting – they all impact this cost equation. Yet, getting a clear-eyed understanding of cost is sometimes hard to do.

So, at 11:30, we have a standout panel lined up for you to dig into the data – and the implications – of the cost of providing care in Utah. The panel includes speakers from the Utah Foundation, from Health Insight, and the Utah Office of Health Care Statistics.


4. Some of Utah’s most important legislators

We are honored to have some of the most important elected voices in Utah health policy joining us on April 24th. You can get a full scan on the Detailed Agenda. Even if you’re not a full time policy geek, you’ll recognize them as names at the center of Utah’s policy conversation.

Rep. Brad Daw is the Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee. He’ll be joined at an 11:30 panel by Rep. Kelly Miles and Rep. Ray Ward for a discussion on Republican health policy ideas. Later, Sen. Gene Davis will be joined by Rep. Brian Kingand Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost for a panel of Democrats talking through their policy vision for Utah. We’re also going to have a standout legislative keynote session at lunch.

5.  Improving Utah’s mental health outcomes

A report out this week ranks Utah’s mental health outcomes at 47th in the country. While improving Utah’s outcomes is something everyone can get behind, it is just as self-evident that there is wide range of opinion about how best to do this. So, at State of Reform, we have teed up a thoughtful panel of leaders to tackle the subject.

Travis Jackson is VP at Beacon Health Options, a managed behavioral health organization. He’ll moderate the panel which includes Salt Lake County Council Member Hon. Aimee Winder NewtonJeremy Christensen of the Utah Dept. of Human Services, and Scott Carter from the Utah Mental Health Counselors Association. This is the kind of diverse set of perspectives that you can expect throughout State of Reform in two weeks.