Detailed Agenda

Our 2020 Texas 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.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Texas health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on February 4th. 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 look forward to seeing you in Austin!


8:15 - 8:30

Welcome and Introduction

This opening session will kick off the day with comments framing the conference agenda, and the role State of Reform hopes to play in this challinging era of health policy and politics.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8:30 - 9:15

Morning Keynote: A Conversation with US Rep. Michael Burgess, MD

Dr. Michael Burgess represents Denton County in the US House of Representatives.  Dr. Burgess serves as the Ranking Member and former Chairman of the powerful Subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  He is one of seven physicians serving in the House, and has been a member of the Tea Party Caucus.  Dr. Burgess has been a vocal advocate for repealing the Affordable Care Act.

This session will feature a conversation with Dr. Burgess on federal health policy, his view of the state of health care in the country, and what we can make of the politics in Washington DC in 2020.

Rep. Michael Burgess, MD: Member, US House of Representatives

9:30 - 10:15

Update from HHSC

This breakout session is a deep dive into the work, progress and plans for 2020 with some of the key leaders at the Health and Human Services Commission. This panel will discuss some of the agency’s work plan and likely include a lively audience discussion.

Stephanie Muth: Deputy Executive Commissioner, Medicaid & CHIP Services

Dee Adams Budgewater: Deputy Executive Commissioner, Health, Developmental & Independence Services

Sonja Gaines: Deputy Executive Commissioner, IDD & BH 

9:30 - 10:15

Addressing the total cost of care

As cost has become the most prominent issue in health care in recent years, both policy makers and market leaders are responding with strategies. This session will review the challenge of bending the cost curve, and will discuss where policy makers and market leaders may find common ground for action.

Rep. Garnet Coleman: Chair, House County Affairs Committee

Gordon Moore, MD: Senior Medical Director, Clinical Strategy & Value-based Care

Diane Scardino: Vice President, Health Plan, Texas Children's Health System 

9:30 - 10:15

New strategies for workforce development in Texas

It’s clear the demand for health care services will far outweigh a traditional approach to workforce development. So, thinking through how best to adapt to this reality, from system-level approaches to expanded individual-level options, is important. This group of professionals will discuss the topic and explore innovative approaches to workforce policy.

Ashley King: Director of Healthcare Partnerships, Workforce Solutions Capital Area

Dr. Candy VanSant: Director of Education, Texoma Medical Center

9:30 - 10:15

Learning from this waiver to inform the next one

With the end of DSRIP dollars on the horizon, and IGT financing under review, questions are starting to arise about what Texas might expect from a future federal waiver and how the lessons from the current waiver might not be lost moving forward. This session will explore the topic and discuss the key questions looming ahead. 

Katie Coburn: Director, Regional Healthcare Partnership, Region 7

Lisa Kirsh: Senior Policy Director, Dean's Office, UT Austin Medical School

Billy Milwee: President/CEO, Billy Millwee & Associates 

Steve Love: CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (moderator)

10:30 - 11:15

The 2020 elections and their impact on health policy

The primary and general elections ahead in 2020 will shape health policy for years to come. From Medicare for All to legislative redistricting, both the conversation and mechanics of health policy at the state and federal levels may well shift in 2020. This panel will explore what those impacts will be on the 2020 elections.

Susan Lilly: Chief Executive Officer, Lilly & Co.

Tim Schauer: Senior Vice President, Cornerstone Government Affairs

Ed Espinoza: Executive Director, Progress Texas

Randan Steinhauser: Partner, Steinhauser Strategies

10:30 - 11:15

Putting the social determinants into a business model

Mainstream awareness of the importance of the social determinants on one’s health is high. However, there are still few regulatorily accepted options to pay for services that address SDOH within the traditional health care sector.  This panel will discuss where the opportunities to impact the social determinants exist and how business models can adapt to address them.

Mini Khalon, Ph.D: Vice Dean for Health Ecosystem, UT Austin Dell Medical School

Michael Peterson, MD: Health Innovation Lead - Health & Public Service, Accenture

Anthony Beverina: Chief Strategy Officer, Socially Determined


Lessons from data-driven decision making in health care

After years of building IT infrastructure, health systems are now leveraging data to drive quality and accountability in health care. This panel will discuss how smart strategies for data are now turning into useful tools for improving care delivery and financing.

David Bergman: Principal, Health Management Associates

Phil Poley: Managing Director, North America Public Sector, Accenture

Robert Choi CEO, CaraDay Healthcare

10:30 - 11:15

Building linkages between the clinic and the community

Bringing together community-based organizations and the health care sector to improve clinical outcomes requires a unique set of vision, collaboration, and organizational courage. This panel of speakers will discuss what it takes to create and foster relationships and infrastructure across clinical and community settings, and the impact on quality of care as a result.

Kay Ghahremani: President & CEO, Texas Association of Community Health Plans

Felicia Latson: Director of Programs, Social Determinants of Health, Legacy Community Health

Kevin Denmark: State Director and Vice President, Beacon Health Options

11:30 - 12:15

Policy update: Republicans

Even out of the legislative session, Republican legislators continue to lead policy discussions across the spectrum of topics in Texas health care.  This session will convene some of the leading state policy makers among Republican legislators to discuss their work, your questions, and what we might expect in 2020.

Rep. Tom Oliverson: Vice Chair, House Insurance Committee

Rep. Stephanie Klick: Caucus Chair, House Republican Caucus

Rep. Brad Buckley: Member, House Appropriations Committee

11:30 - 12:15

Measuring value in the PBM and pharmacy space

As new medicines have come on the scene, high prices for these drugs have corresponded with increasing costs for generic drugs. So, how can we measure value for new pharma, the associated costs, and the administrators that manage them? This complex topic will be taken up by a panel of experts, and will talk through your questions.

Raj Desai: Director of Pharmacy Services, Houston Methodist

Byron Mickle: Senior Vice President, Navitus

Ronna Hauser: Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs, National Community Pharmacists Association 

11:30 - 12:15

Where value based purchasing is heading

Value based purchasing continues in fits and spurts, despite policy uncertainty at the federal level. This session will discuss where the new care financing model continues to progress, what has been learned as a result, and where we might see the approach deepen in 2020.

Dianne Grussendorf: Senior Vice President of Managed Care, Baylor Scott & White Health

Tami Hutchison:  Senior Director, Remedy Partners

Laurie Vanhoose: Director of Policy, Government Programs, Texas Association of Health Plans

11:30 - 12:15

Strategies to extend the opportunity in tele-medicine

With major legislation passed in 2017 and 2019, how have policy efforts framed the expansion of tele-health in the state?  What has been learned from implementation of these efforts and the development of a more stable tele-health market? Hear from some of Texas’s most thoughtful voices on the subject talk through what has been learned and what is to come. 

Mari Robinson: Director, Tele-Health, UTMB Health

Nora Belcher: Executive Director, Texas e-Health Alliance

John Henderson: Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals

Traci Rico: Director, Telehealth Services, Superior Health Plan

12:30 - 1:30

Lunch Keynote: A Conversation with Legislators on Health Policy

This session with some of Texas’s most thoughtful legislators will talk through the emerging politics and policy discussions on health care and health reform. With the 2020 primaries around the corner, and a general election with huge implications for redistricting as well as policy, Texas may be on the cusp of a significant shift on health policy.  These legislators will separate politics from policy, and talk through both the work of the interim and the challenges faced in the 2020 elections.

Sen. Nathan Johnson: Member, Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

Rep. Stephanie Klick: Caucus Chair, House Republican Caucus

1:45 - 2:30

Policy Update: Democrats

This panel will feature some of Texas’s leading Democratic legislators as they discuss their work on health policy during the interim. Bring your questions to what is always a popular session with audience questions and dialog.

Rep. Vikki Goodwin: Member, House Urban Affairs Committee

Sen. Nathan Johnson: Member, Senate Health & Human Services Committee

1:45 - 2:30

Tracking CMS rule making

Rule-making activity at the federal level continues to catalyze significant reforms. From pricing to financing and risk, the impact and velocity of these rules is tremendous. This panel will discuss those impacts and what to expect in 2020 as rule-making continues.

Charles Greenberg: Director of Hospital Finance and Waiver Programs, Texas Health and Human Services Commission 

Frank McStay: Senior Policy Advisor, Baylor Scott & White

Jamie Whitney: General Counsel, AHCV

1:45 - 2:30

Leadership strategies during a time of reform

This session features a number of innovative leaders in health care and health policy, who will offer insights from their experience driving reform in Texas. Peer mentorship is all too rare in health care leadership. This panel will share some of the lessons from leading health care organizations and initiatives during a time of tumult.

Katy Caldwell: Chief Executive Officer, Legacy Community Health

Amy McGeady: Executive Director, It's Time Texas

Susan Bailey, MD: President-Elect, American Medical Association

1:45 - 2:30

Scaling the best strategies for mental health care

The progress on behavioral health across urban and rural geographies has been mixed. It has nevertheless allowed for a set of interesting successes to emerge with the promise of statewide applicability. This panel will discuss what’s worked in the mental health space and what might be scaled to other parts of the state as a result.

Erin Lawler: Director of Healthcare Policy, Texas Council of Community Centers

Walter Taylor: Chief Strategy Officer, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

2:45 - 3:30

Capitol insiders talk health policy

Just because the legislature isn’t in session in 2020 doesn’t mean that policy discussions aren’t underway among stakeholders, legislators, and agency leadership.  This session hosts some of Austin’s most well regarded government relations professionals who will talk through the health policy conversations underway and where we might see those discussions lead.

Ryan Clay: Principal, Texas Star Alliance 

Dan Finch: Director, Government Relations, Texas Medical Association 

Heather Vasek: Consultant, Delisi Communications  

Jamie Dudensing: Executive Director, Texas Association of Health Plans

2:45 - 3:30

Surveying population health in Texas

Being able to effectively manage large groups of patients in a given community or cohort takes a unique approach to quality and care management.  This session will survey what’s working in population health, and how those lessons might be scaled across silos and lines of business to other parts of the Texas health care system. 

Iliana Gilman: Principal, Health Management Associates

Karim Kaissi: General Manager, CareMore

Kathy Lee: Director, Special Projects, Coryell Memorial Hospital

2:45 - 3:30

Designing County-level Reform and Implementation

From public hospitals to IGTs, mental health to corrections, counies are often hubs for innovation in care delivery and finacing. This session will provide an update on how some of those innovative approches are faring, and what successes might be spread to other communities. 

Gilbert Gonzales: Director, Department of Behavorial Health, Bexar County

Kelli Becerra: Director, Healthy Williamson County

Michael Malaise: Senior Vice President, Parkland Hospital and Health System

3:45 - 4:30

Afternoon Keynote: Health Policy and the 2020 Elections

Colm O'Comartun is co-founder of 50 State, one of Washington DC's leading consultancies on state health policy and politics. Colm is the former Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association, and formed 50 State with his colleague, the former Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association.

With the Iowa Caucuses held the evening before State of Reform, Colm will review returns from Iowa, update us on polling in looming primary states, and talk through how federal health policy is being shaped on both sides of the aisle by the Democratic nomination contest.

Colm O'Comartun: Co-Founder, 50 State & Former Executive Director, DGA