5 Things California: Provider consolidation, Leveraging community in care, Telehealth policy

We are just two days out from our 2021 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference coming up on April 22nd! I’d love to have you and your executive team register for this virtual event. All of our sessions will be recorded and available to registrants. So, you can go back to watch the sessions for up to 30 days after the event.

So, we’ve teed up some of these sessions for you in our newsletter this edition. Take a look. I hope to see you this Thursday!





With help from Emily Boerger

1. Inconsistencies in health equity

From vaccine distribution to access to health care services, there continues to be variation in health outcomes based on race, gender, and economic status. We’re looking forward to hosting our “Outcomes and inconsistencies in health equity” panel at the 2021 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference this Thursday to discuss the ways our system can do better by our neighbors and community members.

Joining this panel will be Demetria Malloy, MD, Regional Vice President Medical Director at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield National Accounts Team, Eve Gelb, SVP of Member and Community Health at SCAN Health Plan, and Kristen Azar, PhD, Scientific Medical Director at Sutter Health Institute for Advancing Health Equity. Michael Anderson-Nathe, Principal at Health Management Associates, will moderate the discussion.


2. Measuring the impact of provider consolidation

Determining the impact of provider consolidation continues to be an ongoing conversation both at the state and federal level. Our “Measuring the impact of provider consolidation and market power” panel will explore the cost/benefit questions related to the subject, and what California policymakers and health care leaders have learned after more than a decade of catalyzed consolidation.

We’ll hear from Bill Kramer, Executive Director for Health Policy at the Purchaser Business Group on Health, Katie Gudiksen, PhD, Senior Health Policy Researcher at the Source at UC Hastings College of Law, and Chris Whaley, PhD, Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation.


3. Leveraging community in care

The more work we do as a health care sector to improve health, the more we realize the importance of connecting the service delivery system to the community that surrounds it. This panel on Thursday will discuss the intersection between the delivery system and community, and the lessons learned from work to connect the two.

Joining us on our “Leveraging community in care delivery & management” panel will be Verne Brizendine, CEO of Aetna Better Health of California, Cindy Selmi, Executive Director at Health Outreach Partners, and Ben Honda, Customer Success Account Executive at Aunt Bertha.

4. One on one keynote conversations

We will kick off the conference with one-on-one keynote conversations with two of California’s most prominent health care leaders. I’ll first be joined by Assemblymember Jim Wood, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and member of the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

I’ll also have the opportunity to talk with Kimberley Goode, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Blue Shield of California. We’ll talk through the COVID vaccination response in which Blue Shield has played such a key leadership role. We’ll ask them both forward-looking questions in hopes of leveraging their experience to better understand the road ahead.


5. Telehealth policy in a Post-COVID world

The utilization of telehealth tools during the COVID-19 pandemic has been catalyzed in a way no other effort has been able to since the advent of the model more than 20 years ago. So, is the use of telehealth here to stay? While that question may be open, what is clear is that supportive state and federal policy is important to maintaining the innovation that has been delivered by telehealth during this pandemic.

Alinea Stevens, MD, Medical Director at Chapa-De Indian Health, Mohit Ghose, Government Relations at Anthem Inc., and Albert Chan, MD, Vice President, Chief of Digital Patient Experience at Sutter Health, will offer their expertise on our “Telehealth policy in a post-COVID world” panel. These panelists will draw upon their own experiences and their work as advocates to highlight key obstacles and opportunities in the work to come.