5 Things Washington: Total cost of care, Federal health policy, Pandemic innovations

Our 2021 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference is shaping up to be as good as ever, with sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities for attendees that will be unique for our COVID age. We announce some unique networking opportunities for attendees next week.

Registration rates go up later this week. So if you already know you want to be with us on January 6th and 7th, you can save yourself a few bucks and get signed up.

This edition of 5 Things features some of the sessions you’ll find at next year’s event. I hope you’ll get signed up to be with us!





With help from Emily Boerger

1. Getting our hands around the total cost of care

Prior to COVID-19, cost was among the most pressing topics in health care and health policy. Looking forward, sustainable financing of our health care system will remain a central challenge, exacerbated by this pandemic. So, how can we thread the dual challenges of increasing costs in a system that does not appear to be financially stable with the money currently allocated?

Speaking on our “Getting our hands around the total cost of care” panel is former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, MD, Courtney Ward, Strategy and Finance Manager at Amerigroup, and Grant Knowles, PharmD, Vice President of Business Development at Ardon Health.


2. Modernizing state health policy after COVID

As we look to a future when COVID is behind us, what will we have learned from this experience that will improve our health system and safety net? How can we make sure the sacrifice we have all paid, both physically and mentally, is not in vain, but rather leads to a policy framework that supports a stronger, more resilient and responsive health system? This panel will take up these questions and more at the State of Reform conference next month.

Joining us on this panel is Rep. Eileen Cody, Chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, and Molly Voris, Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health and Health Care at the Office of Gov. Inslee. Chris Bandoli, Executive Director of the Association of Washington Healthcare Plans, and Justin Gill, Board Member of the Washington State Nurses Association, will offer their perspectives.


3. Update on federal health policy

A new federal administration is taking shape and health reform is primed as a key issue in the 117th Congress. With this in mind, our “Update on federal policy” panel will feature speakers at work trying to shape the next wave of federal policy-making on the road ahead in 2021.

We’ll hear from Andrew Coats, Senior Policy Advisor at Hall Render, Pam MacEwan, CEO at the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, and Nick Bath, Health Policy Director of the Senate HELP Committee. Bring your questions to what will be a forward-looking and enlightening session.

4. Scaling the best innovations from the pandemic

The pandemic has brought about a range of innovations. Some of these have had modest results while some have been transformational. So, what will stick around as we move into the post-COVID space? This session will discuss the possibilities and the promise borne from a hard-earned education in this pandemic.

Usha Sankrithi, MD, Senior Medical Director at Coordinated Care, and Craig Eagle, Vice President of US Oncology Medical Affairs at Genentech, will offer their insights on the “Scaling the best innovations from the pandemic” panel. Sean Farley, Administrative Director at Virginia Mason Medical Center, will also join the conversation.

5. Integrating housing and health care

It’s clear that it’s difficult to be healthy if you’re worried about where you’ll sleep at night. And, at the safety net where many Medicaid beneficiaries live, it’s clear that housing is a critical element of one’s health. This session will talk through the lessons learned from integrating health care and the housing sector and what that experience tells us about the future of care delivery and health policy.

We’ll hear from Sen. Patty Kuderer, Chair of the Senate Housing Stability and Affordability Committee, Andy McMahon, Vice President of Health and Human Services Policy at UnitedHealthcare Community & State, and Joanna den Haan, Homeless & Housing Program Manager at Neighborcare.