Detailed Agenda

Our 2015 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 60 speakers and experts from across the spectrum of care. The heading colors correspond to track colors on our Topical Agenda to help you organize your day.

8:20 am Welcome and Introductions

Opening remarks to set the stage for the day and put the conference in the broader context of State of Reform activities focused on bridging the gap between health care and health policy.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8:30 am Morning Keynote: Learning from Oregon: Expansion and Reform of Medicaid

The work underway in Alaska regarding both expansion and reform of Medicaid has been underway in other states, too.  Oregon has made national news with their model, built upon the most stakeholder engagement of any state in the country.  Dr. Goldberg will share the lessons of Oregon’s expansion and reform work, including pre-launch strategies and post-implementation lessons.

Bruce Goldberg, MD: Former Director, Oregon Health Authority

9:30 am Overcoming Barriers to Provider Access

Provider access continues to be a challenge in Alaska. These organizations are focused on utilizing innovative strategies and partnerships to expand access and overcome the traditional barriers. Come learn how they are managing it, what successes they have had, and what’s next.

Kate Othus: Health Care Services Director, AKT
Melissa Kemberling: Director of Programs, Mat-Su Health Foundation
Tammy Green: Chief Executive Officer, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center

9:30 am Health Care and the 2016 Elections

Health policy has been one of the most polarizing political issues of the last five years.  With presidential, congressional, and legislative elections next year, what can we expect for health policy discussions?  These political observers will bring their perspectives to this active discussion.

Bill Popp: CEO, AEDC
Joe Miller: Host, KOAN 1080

9:30 am Reforming Medicaid in Alaska

What should reform of Medicaid in Alaska look like?  In a time of severe fiscal stress, how can Alaska get more out of the Medicaid system while investing fewer dollars into the system over time?  This panel will bring a series of different views to the table for a robust discussion.

Hon. Paul Seaton: Representative, Chair, Health and Social Services
Becky Hultberg: President/CEO, ASHNHA
Jeff Jessee: CEO, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

9:30 am What Innovative Contracting Models Could Look Like

The relationships between payer and provider in Alaska are continuing to evolve.  Learn from this panel of experts, including a leading CCO in Oregon, about some of the latest innovations in the relationships between care delivery and finance, which offer some suggestions for the road ahead in Alaska.

Barbara Nay: Partner, Stoel Rives
Jeff Heatherington: CEO, FamilyCare Inc.
Cherie Hendrix: Sr. Advisor, National Accounts, The Wilson Agency

10:30 am Brokers as the Voice of Employers

What do employers want and what are their priorities when purchasing health care coverage for their employees?  These panelists have their ear to the ground and will share what they are hearing from employers on cost, quality and access.

Albert Fogle: Employee Benefits Consultant, Northrim Benefits
Greg Loudon: Principal, Account Executive, Parker, Smith and Feek
Jennifer Meyhoff: Senior Vice President, Marsh & McLennan Agency

10:30 am A Report from DHSS

There is new leadership in the Governor’s office and in the administration, which has taken the Department in a different direction, both in tone and substance. These panelists will share the leadership’s new vision and provide an update on the Medicaid contract, expansion and other reform efforts underway.

Valerie Davidson: Commissioner, Dept. of Health and Social Services
Duane Mayes:
Division Director, Senior and Disabilities Services, Dept. of Health and Social Services
Jared Kosin: Executive Director, Office of Rate Review, Dept. of Health and Social Services
Monique Martin: Health Policy Advisor, Dept. of Health and Social Services
Jon Sherwood: Deputy Commissioner for Medicaid, Dept. of Health and Social Services

10:30 am An Update on Legal Questions on Reform

The legal challenges facing health reform are not concluded with the decision in King v. Burwell.  Administrative rules, regulatory oversight, and changes from consolidation all offer continued pitfalls ahead.  These thought leaders will discuss the questions they see on the horizon.

Craig Richards: Attorney General, State of Alaska
Myra Munson: Partner, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP
Stephen Rose: Partner, Hall Render

10:30 am The Sustainability of Insurance Market

With carriers leaving the Alaska market, and large increases in premiums for those carriers still in the market, some are starting to openly wonder if the individual market is sustainable in a post-ACA environment.  Listen to these experts discuss the challenges and issues in the market today.

Brian Landon: Regulatory Affairs Manager and Associate General Counsel, Premera
Josh Weinstein: CEO, Northrim Benefits
Lori Wing-Heier: Director, Division of Insurance

11:30 am Alaska’s Social Determinants of Health

According to multiple studies, one’s health is only about 10% dependent on one’s health care.  It’s the other contextual elements – like income, education, lifestyle, social engagement – that impacts so much of our health.  This panel will explore those elements through this data driven panel.

David Driscoll, PhD: Director, Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies
Michael Dickey: 
Public Health Quality & Performance Manager, DHSS Division of Public Health/Healthy Alaskans 2020
Patrick Cunningham: Associate Professor, School of Social Work, UAA

11:30 am Policy Leadership: Democrats

These Democratic leaders will share their vision for the 2016 session.  Join them for an always lively discussion and come learn about what’s ahead.

Hon. Chris Tuck: Minority Leader, Alaska House of Representatives
Hon. Les Gara: Member, House Finance Subcommittee on Health & Human Services
Hon. Bill Wielechowski: Member, Alaska State Senate

11:30 am Extending Innovation in Tele-Health

Tele-Health is more important to Alaskans than ever, as rising costs are driving care delivery innovation.  These panelists will share their experiences in extending care to rural communities, how tele-health is improving care and what impact tele-health will have on data exchange.

Eileen Conlon-Scott: Executive Director, Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, Inc.
Rebecca Madison: Executive Director, Alaska E-Health Network
Sarah Freeman: Director of Telehealth Program Development, ANTHC

11:30 am Cyber Security and Patient Privacy

Every organization should assume their data has been compromised, because it probably has. That’s the lesson coming out of the data breaches made public. Other lessons are even more striking. Learn the latest from this panel of technology and privacy experts.

Amy Carlson: Of Counsel, Stoel Rives
David Smith: Partner, Garvey Schubert Barer
Chad Nordstrom: Information Security, CliftonLarsonAllen

12:30 am Lunch Keynote:  Hon. Bill Walker

The 11th Governor of the State of Alaska will join us for our Lunch Keynote.  Gov. Walker will discuss the recent expansion of eligibility of Medicaid in Alaska, as well as other topics like controlling health care costs, working with the legislature, and the Alaska’s fiscal situation.

Hon. Bill Walker: Governor, State of Alaska

1:45 pm Preparing for the Cadillac Tax

Estimates suggest that the vast majority of insurance products in Alaska will be subject to a 40% excise tax effective in January 2018. While this seems far off, some organizations are starting now to think about strategies to get around this tax, which will otherwise threaten the entire health system.

                  Jason Gootee: Director, Alaska Sales & Services, MODA
                  Jennifer Bundy Cobb: VP, Sr. Benefits Advisor, The Wilson Agency
                  Robert Grannum: Partner, Moss Adams

1:45 pm Policy Leadership: Republicans

Health care is one of the thorniest policy issues to tackle in Alaska and the United States today. Hear from some of the leading Republican policy makers in the Legislature as they discuss the upcoming 2016 session and how health care will be addressed there.  Bring your questions and engage in the discussion.

Hon. Cathy Giessel: Vice-Chair, Senate Health and Social Services Committee
Hon. Pete Kelly: Co-Chair, Senate Finance Committee
Hon. John Coghill: Senate Majority Leader, Alaska State Senate 

1:45 pm Bridging Gaps in Patient Care: A New Innovative Approach

In this case-study panel, Alaska Innovative Medicine (AIM) will discuss their experiences in creating a program to help improve navigation and collaboration in the medical community. Through strong patient outreach and partnerships, AIM has created a model that supports independent physician practice while still promoting coordinated care.

Tim Bateman, MD: Vice President, Alaska Innovative Medicine, Inc
Kathy Hurlburt, MD: Board Member, Alaska Innovative Medicine, Inc
Gigi Rygh, LCSW: Social Work Lead, Alaska Innovative Medicine, Inc

1:45 pm Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The connection between substance abuse and mental health is often clear.  Heroin use, methamphetamine use, and other hard drugs often tie into behavioral health concerns.  However, sometimes it’s also the extra beer, the last bottle of wine, or even too many banana nut muffins which can be symptomatic of mental health concerns.  This panel will dig into the details of the ties between chemical dependency and mental health.

Al Wall: Director, State of Alaska, Division of Behavioral Health
Jenny Love, MD: Medical Director, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center
Natasha Pineda: Program Officer, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority 

2:45 pm The Road Ahead for Hospitals

Hospitals are facing a significant transition these days, where there will be both winners and losers.  These Alaskan hospital leaders will talk through the stresses in place in the hospital setting and the strategic approaches each of these leaders will employ to guide their organizations in the months and years to come.

Ken Tonjes: CEO, PeaceHealth Ketchikan
Rick Davis: CEO, Central Peninsula Hospital
Julie Taylor: CEO, Alaska Regional Hospital 

2:45 pm Looking to the 2016 Legislative Session

This panel of healthcare insiders will share their thoughts on the 2016 session, the challenges of the 2015 session, and where health policy is headed in AK in the next year.   Be prepared to engage in a lively conversation and discussion.

Charlie Miller: Lobbyist, Charlie Miller
Darwin Peterson: Legislative Director, Office of Governor Walker
Sheela Tallman: Senior Alaska Legislative Affairs Executive, Premera

2:45 pm Coordinating Whole Person Care

Health care is not just about a person’s physical health. It’s about the whole person, which includes physical health, emotional health and behavioral health. These panelists will share how they are working to care for patients within this paradigm.

Tom Chard: Executive Director, Dept of Public Health, Alaska Behavioral Health Association
Tara Ferguson:
Clinical Quality Coordinator, Alaska Primary Care Association
Gary Ferguson, BS, ND:
Senior Director of Community Health Services, ANTHC

3:45 pm Afternoon Executive Keynote Panel

This panel of respected health care executives and policy leaders will conclude the day with a cross-silo discussion of Alaskan health care.  They’ll talk through current topics as well as issues on the horizon, but with different perspectives and approaches.  This is often one one of our best panels, and will close out our day’s event.

Dr. Jay Butler: Director, Dept of Public Health, Dept. of Health and Social Services
Jim Grazko:
President, Premera BlueCross BlueShield of Alaska
Hon. Mike Hawker:
Chair, Legislative Budget and Audit Committee
Susan Johnson:
Regional Director, US Dept. of HHS