Detailed Agenda

Our 2017 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 65 speakers  from across the spectrum of health care and policy. The heading colors correspond to track colors on our Topical Agenda to help you organize your day.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in California health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on April 27th. If you’re not already registered you can do so here.

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We hope to see you in Sacramento!



Welcome and Introduction

This opening session will kick off the day's convening and agenda with some comments on the role of State of Reform and the day's content in a new era of policy and politics.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform 


Executive Keynote Panel: The Next Steps on Federal Reform

While the Congressional Republicans have pulled their health reform bill, the issue of health care will continue to hang over Washington DC.  As elections draw closer, and as advocates build arguments for and against policies in the public conversation, expect a renewed level of energy committed to health reform in the months ahead.  This panel of national experts will discuss the shape of the conversation, the “fixes” that would be appropriate to the ACA, and where they believe the national reform discussion should lead.

Jason Burke: Vice President, 3M

John Molina: Chief Financial Officer, Molina Healthcare

Ken Thorpe: Chair, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease


Reform's Opportunities from the View of the Behavioral Health System

The opportunities and challenges related to reform looks very different depending on where one sits.  This panel takes up the topic from the specific view of behavioral health, and will discuss integration, innovation, and improvements to the overall health care system.

Sarah Arnquist: Vice President, Client Partnerships, Beacon Health Options

Adrienne Shilton: Director, Government Affairs, Steinberg Institute

Karen Larsen: Health & Human Services Agency Director, Yolo County


What Multi-Silo Care Coordination Looks Like

There is a lot of talk about coordination and collaboration.  But walking the walk is harder than talking the talk.  This panel will speak from well earned experience about the successes and setbacks in collaboration across different organizations and cultures.

Hilary Haycock: Chief Executive Officer, Harbage Consulting

Percy Howard: Vice President, Programs and Operations, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions

Tanya Dansky, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Care1st Health Plan


The Promise of Big Data at the Micro and Macro Level

Health care is increasingly awash in data.  Understanding how to manage the data and apply it is the challenge, with systems that vary by application to either a population or patient level. These experts will highlight some of the latest learnings from organizations managing data effectively.

Swatee Surve: Chief Executive Officer, LiteSprite

Gregory Wong: Vice President, Product Management, PointCare

Peter Shih: Senior Manager, San Mateo County Health System


Organization Leadership in a Time of Transition

Market and policy predictability is so 2016.  2017 is full of transition, moving from an environment of increasing stabilization to something that is yet to be determined.  How can organizations progress through this time of instability? What are the orienting principles that guide leaders?  This panel will take up the topic in a forum focused on discussion.

Delvecchi Finley: Chief Executive Officer, Alameda Health System

David Kim: Vice President, Senior Regional Medical Director, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare

Sam Glick: Partener, Health & Life Sciences Practice, Oliver Wyman 


Bending the Cost Curve - For Reals This Time

The idea of controlling costs and mitigating upward trends has been at the forefront of policy discussions since passage of the ACA.  How has the market responded in recent years, and how has that informed future strategies to better control costs moving forward?  These thoughtful executives will take up the topic.

Gary Cohen: Vice President, Government Affairs, Blue Shield of California

Kristof Stremikis: Associate Director for Policy & the Purchaser Value Network, Pacific Business Group on Health

Phil Jackson: Chief Executive Officer, Health Plan Products, Sutter Health


Update on Federal Policy

The implications of federal policy on California’s health care system cannot be overstated.  However, we collectively seem to know less about the direction of federal policy than we thought we did just a few weeks ago.  This panel will separate out the most important elements of federal policy today and share their perspectives on what’s ahead.

Jennifer Ryan: Vice President, Harbage Consulting

Anthony Wright: Executive Director, Health Access

Damien O’Doherty: Partner, KOFA Public Affairs


Connecting the Community to our Health Care System

At some point, everyone’s health status is dependent on the community for support. From financing public health coverage like Medicare to providing neighborhood-level support via housing, employment, public health or other tools.  How is the health system interfacing with these community elements and structures?  This group of thought leaders will discuss.

Maria Romero-Mora: Director of Programs, California Coverage and Health Initiatives

Cindy Keltner: Deputy Director, Health Center Transformation, California Primary Care Association

Lou Meyer: Project Manager, Community Paramedicine & POLST eRegistry, California Emergency Medical Services Agency


Disruption or Chaos?: Where Are We and How Do We Move Forward?

Is the storm we collectively find ourselves in a wind storm or a fire storm?  Depending on your view of this time of transition, your strategic imperatives can change dramatically.  This panel will share their thinking and their learnings as they have taken up this question in private and public ways over the last few months.  Bring your questions with you for an engaging discussion.

Betsy Imholz: Special Projects Director, Consumers Union

Carolyn Wang Kong: Program Officer, Blue Shield of California Foundation

Micah Weinberg: President, Economic Institute, Bay Area Council


Balancing Challenges and Opportunities from New Rx Drugs

For many organizations, managing the benefits and the costs of pharmaceuticals is increasingly a challenge.  There are a series of new miracle drugs on the market, and soon genome-specific drugs will deliver individualized cures.  This panel will talk through various approaches to managing the tradeoff between costs and benefits.

Priscilla VanderVeer: Deputy Vice President, Public Affairs, PhRMA

Mike Namba, PharmD: Pharmacist Consultant, CA Dept. General Services, Pharmaceutical Aquisitions Department

Anne Freese, PharmD: Director of Pharmacy, Gold Coast Health Plan

Lisa Ghotbi, PharmD: Director of Pharmacy, San Francisco Health Plan


Policy Leadership: Republicans

Republican members of the legislature will talk through issues and topics teed up in the 2017 legislative session.  From tax revenue to the changing nature of federal-state relations, legislators will discuss the changing nature of health policy in California.  Bring your questions!

Hon. Jim Patterson: Member, Assembly Health Committee

Hon. Frank Bigelow: Vice Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee 

Hon. Randy Voepel: Vice Chair, Assembly Aging & Long-Term Care Committee (invited)


Baby Boomers, Meet Your Long Term Care System

It’s unlikely that the generation that brought us Viagra and the mid-life crisis will go quietly into the long term care system as they age.  One can expect Boomers to bring new demands to a system that works for low income folks and high net worth individuals, but isn’t so great for the middle class.  This experienced group of executives will talk through what to expect as Boomers age.

Will Tift: Assistant Director, Agency on Aging, Area 4

Gavin Ward: Regional Director of Strategy, 24Hr Homecare

Marty Lynch: Chief Executive Officer, Life Long Medical Care

David Panush: President, California Health Policy Strategies (moderator)


Covered CA: System Level Leadership During a Time of Transition

The infrastructure developed at Covered California has been a central component of California’s success in implementing the ACA.  With Congress considering ending premium supports and moving to a tax credit model, the purpose and nature of Covered California could change significantly.  These voices representing brokers, plans and the agency itself will discuss the role of Covered California in the months and years ahead.

Robert Spector: Area Vice President Covered California, Blue Shield of California

Mohit Ghose: Principal, Ghose & Associates

Michael Lujan: Chief Strategy Officer, LimeLight Health


Executive Keynote Panel: Leading California Through Transition in Healthcare

What does the path ahead look like for California within the context of the changing federal policy landscape, both in Congress and the administration?  Is there a unique role that California can play – in terms of leading other states but also in local implementation – where California can continue to innovate beyond (or in spite of) the federal policy discussion?  This panel of experts will take up the topic during our lunch program.

Pat Clarey: Chief State Health Programs & Regulatory Relations Officer, HealthNet

Don Crane: Chief Executive Offiver, CAPG

Diana Dooley: Secretary, California Health and Human Services


Strategies for Achieving Value Based Care

There has been a tremendous amount of talk about what value based care will look like in 2017 and beyond.  Regardless of what happens in the policy debate, organizations will continue to look for strategic partnerships that will drive value to the purchasers and the system at large. Listen to this panel discussion what models for VBC are gaining traction already, and where the opportunities exist to extend this learning into new areas of health.

Sean Atha: Senior Vice President, River City Medical Group

Jeff Conklin: Vice President, Payer and Network Strategies, Adventist Health Plan

Mike Montoya: General Manager, CareMore Health Plan


Policy Leadership: Democrats

With strong majorities in the Assembly and Senate, legislative Democrats have a range of health policy options to consider. This panel will provide an update on policy bills, look ahead to finalizing the budget, and discuss the challenges of legislating during a time of upheaval in policy at the federal level.  Bring your questions to what is always a well-attended panel.

Hon. Ed Hernandez: Chair, Senate Health Committee

Hon. Jim Wood: Chair, Assembly Health Committee


Lessons from Standing Up Whole Person Pilots

As this part of the 1115 waiver becomes operational, stakeholders have learned a tremendous amount about building systems of care across traditional silos.  These folks will bring their experiences and observations from setting up pilots across multiple regions in California.

Erica Murray: President & Chief Executive Officer, California Association of Public Hospitals

Abbie Totten: Vice President, Government Programs Policy & Strategic Initiatives, Health Net

Kathleen Clanon, MD: Medical Director, Health Care Services Agency of Alameda County


MACRA, Medicare, and the Changing Nature of CMS Leadership

With a new federal administration, leadership at CMS is shifting.  However, MACRA – having passed with a strong bi-partisan majority – is likely to continue to be a driver of reform across the Medicare delivery system regardless of changes in personnel in the new administration.  These leaders offer their perspective on the changes ahead.

Jennifer Pereur: Director, Government Programs, Hill Physicians

Lisa Fowler: Director, Ambulatory Quality Integration, Adventist Health Physician Services

Susan Philip: Senior Healthcare Management Consultant, Milliman


Can Block Grants Work for Medi-Cal?

While the American Health Care Act may have stalled, it’s likely Congressional Republicans will continue with efforts to reform Medicaid.  Central to their vision is some sort of block grant or per capita capped funding model that adds flexibility to states in exchange for a predictable trend line for the federal budget.  This session will review the options on the table for Medicaid reform and discuss the application of those models in California.

Mari Cantwell: Medicaid Director, DHCS

Andie Martinez Patterson: Director, Government Affairs, HealthPlus Advocates

Margaret Tatar: State Medicaid Director, Managing Partner, Health Management Associates

Lisa Chan-Sawin: Principal, Transform Health (moderator)


Capitol Insiders Talk Policy, Politics

This session will feature lobbyists and health policy professionals discuss what is in play during the 2017 legislature.  It will offer a look at the conversations taking place behind closed doors and give you a view of what the policy conversation looks like in the months ahead.

Jim Gross: Partner, Nielsen Merksamer

Beth Capell: Principal, Capell & Associates

Michelle Cabrera: Healthcare and Research Director, SEIU State Council


Making Progress on Social Determinants

Awareness about the impacts of social determinants on health status has become part of the mainstream discussion in health care.  However, applying that knowledge to the practical world of health care financing, delivery and administration is a challenge.  This breakout will highlight the progress made to integrate these social aspects of health into the traditional health care system.

Greg Buchert, MD: President, Care1st Health Plan

Jenny Ismert: Vice President, Health Policy, UnitedHealth Group

Peter Winston: Executive Vice President, SynerMed

Eric Conner: Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Healthify


Report from DHCS Leadership

Jennifer Kent will join the State of Reform agenda during this breakout session.  She will present an overview of the vision and direction of DHCS and take audience questions in a conversation that can expected to be among the most informative sessions of the day.

Jennifer Kent: Director, California Department of Health Care Services


Keynote Presentation: Reform We Can Believe In During a Time of Trump

Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will discuss the pathways forward for states like California as they seek to continue progress of reform started by the ACA.  Drawing upon his four decades of health policy experience, including reforming Oregon Medicaid to include a fixed cost trend line of 3.4%, Kitzhaber will connect the dots between the opportunity presented by a changing federal policy landscape and the challenges of funding the safety net in California.  Ranked #2 on Modern Healthcare’s 2013 list of Most Influential in Healthcare, ahead of President Obama, Kitzhaber brings a depth of state and national experience few other policy makers can match.

Hon. John Kitzhaber, MD: Former Governor, State of Oregon