5 Things We’re Watching – Washington, December 2013

As our January 8th annual conference draws near, I think our Topical Agenda this year is perhaps our best yet – with a set of speakers that is very impressive.

So, with now fewer than 150 spots left for this year’s event, here are 5 Things we’re looking forward to seeing at our 2014 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference!

Until then, happy holidays from all of us at State of Reform!

DJ Wilson - Host, State of Reform

1. WA Director of Medicaid talks about the future

With so much happening in Medicaid, we thought we’d interview MaryAnne Lindeblad, the Director of Medicaid for the Washington State Health Care Authority.  She’s in the middle of all of the key conversations related to innovation, integration, and purchasing.  So, we thought we’d get her take on things.

She’ll be speaking at 9:20 am on the session “New Strategies for Medicaid” with Doug Bowes from United, and Victor Collymore from CHPW.

2. Changes to mental health procurement

This was a big deal in 2013, and I’m guessing it may be perhaps the biggest story in health care in 2014:  changing mental health procurement to integrate into physical health procurement in Medicaid.

So, we have invited some really great speakers to a panel on the topic at 2:30 pm:  Jane Beyer from DSHS, Cheri Dolezal from Optum, Erin Hafer from CHPW, and Jason McGill from Gov. Inslee’s office.  I have a feeling we’ll need extra seats for this one.

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3.  So, what about this integration talk?

We are honored to have Gov. Jay Inslee join us for the third year in a row as our lunch keynote.  Immediately following his remarks, we’ll also be joined at lunch by Dorothy Teeter of the HCA, Kevin Quigley from DSHS (he gave us a great interview a few months back), and Susan Johnson from HHS.

With that lineup, we’ll be able to dig into the thinking that is driving integration, as well as the “sideboards” that define the room to maneuver.  I think this has the potential to be one of our best general sessions ever.

4. What do the insiders see coming?

I think it’s always a great idea to listen to the folks that know what they’re talking about.  And, when it comes to health policy in Olympia, the advocates (aka lobbyists) and the staff can often sometimes give you a perspective you might not find anywhere else.

So, we’ve invited some of the smarter minds on the topic to come and share their thinking: Bob Crittenden from Gov. Inslee’s office, Cassie Sauer from WSHA, and Nick Federici who is connected with everyone.  Their session starts at 10:20 am

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5. “What does Cody think about that?”

If you work in health policy, at some point you’ll hear the words “What does Cody think about that?”  Rep. Eileen Cody, as the dean of the House of Representatives and Chair of the House Health and Wellness Committee, is perhaps the most important person in Olympia on health care and health policy.  And by “perhaps,” I mean she is.

So, to close the day, we’ve got her on stage in a discussion with some of the leading health care executives in the state:  Jeff Roe, newly name President of Premera, Lance Hunsinger, CEO of CHPW, and Preston Simmons, CEO of Providence Everett.

This session closes our day and should offer a unique view on best Washington State might collaborate to chart a course towards system improvement in 2014.