5 Things Virginia: Capitol insiders, How COVID has changed us, Plan-provider relations

Next week is our 2021 Virginia State of Reform Health Policy Conference with more than 60 speakers curated for you. These are some of the most important leaders in Virginia health care and health policy.

This newsletter features things that we think are important to watch. And, our Convening Panel has told us the things that they think are important to watch, and have featured them on the Topical Agenda next week. So, it makes sense that we feature some of the agenda topics next week because they reflect some of the most pressing challenges — and opportunities — faced in Virginia health care.





With help from Emily Boerger

1. How has COVID changed us?

What a great question, right? This session will reflect on both how we have been changed in health care, and how we are now different as a people, too. It’ll range from changes in the practice of medicine, like the advances in telehealth, to the PTSD that so many of us will have to navigate in the months ahead.

The session includes Melina Davis from the Medical Society of Virginia, Jill Hanken of the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Deborah Oswalt from the Virginia Health Care Foundation, and Caroline Sutter from Mason and Partners Clinics. It’s a unique set of perspectives on a topic that we probably need to be spending more time on together.


2. Capitol insiders come out of the back room

One of the best sessions every year at State of Reform is our panel with some of the most respected advocates and government relations professionals in the business. If you know their names, you know the juice they can bring to a conversation in the legislature. If you don’t know their names, then you’ll really want to listen in!

Julie Dime from VHHA, Doug Gray from Virginia Association of Health Plans, Scott Johnson from Hancock Daniel, and Matt Mansell of the Broad Street Group will join us together in one setting. They’ll talk through the session, what it means for elections in 2021, and the work that will remain for policy makers in the months ahead.


3. Key legislators sharing their policy views

We have some of Virginia’s most important policy makers sprinkled throughout our agenda, from our Afternoon Keynote to a conversation on mental health. You’ll also see one session dedicated to each party, so that you can hear directly from both Republicans and Democrats. At the end of the day, we’ll have a bi-partisan panel to talk through both the session behind us and the conversations to come.

From the Democrats, we have Sens. Creigh DeedsBarbara Favola and Louise Lucas. We also host Dels. Mark SicklesRod Willett and Dawn Adams. Among Republican legislators, we have Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, who was one of the first folks in the commonwealth to tell us “This would be a great event and a great opportunity for us in Virginia.” We also host Sen. Jen KiggansSen. David Suetterlein, and Del. Christopher Head.


4. Pfizer’s North American lead for vaccines

Quietly hidden on our agenda at 12:00 is a session on “Vaccines and the science of the pandemic.” It turns out one of the speakers is Pfizer’s President for North America in their vaccine division, David Hering. He is Pfizer’s most senior voice in North America — not just Virginia — on the company’s work on vaccines. It’s an uncommon opportunity to speak directly with one of the most important health care voices of the last 16 months.

David was a keynote speaker at our recent national conference. Next week, he’ll be joined on this breakout session by Phyllis Arthur of BIO and Bob Mauskapf of the Virginia Dept. of Health. So, you’ll get multiple perspectives on this topic of vaccine science, the vaccine rollout, and where we are in moving toward herd immunity in Virginia.


5. How relations between plans and providers are changing

This relationship between payors and providers remains the most central and most important element of our modern US health care system. So, tracking how that is going is important to know where the future is taking Virginia health care. And it turns out we have four very smart, savvy thought leaders from Virginia health care to take up the topic at a 1:00 pm session.

Those voices are Sandy Chung, MD, CEO of Trusted Doctors; Ashley Edwards, Chief Innovation Officer at the Virginia Center for Health Innovation; Brian Masterson, MD, at United Healthcare; and Priscilla Smith at Magellan Health. This will be a great discussion on the intersection of the market and policy, across both acute care and behavioral health.