Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 Colorado State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of nearly 60 speakers and experts 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 Colorado health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on October 20th! 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 having you with us!

All agenda times are local!


8:30 - 8:45

Welcome & Introductions

DJ Wilson, Host of State of Reform, will kick off the day with comments framing the conference agenda, and the role of State of Reform hopes to play in this challenging era of health policy and politics. He will orient us to the conference, including a run down of how best to utilize the unique tools of the virtual platform.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8:45 - 9:20

Morning Keynote: A conversation with Chris Murray

Chris Murray, MD, leads the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. In that role, he oversees modeling related to COVID-19 and other diseases, work that has proven to be among the most accurate predictors of the disease’s activity in the United States. Dr. Murray will share the latest data and an up-to-date model of the pandemic. Want to know when we can expect to be done with this pandemic? Dr. Murray will answer this question and more to kick off our conference.

Chris Murray, MD: Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

9:30 - 10:20

Capitol insiders talk health policy

In what is always one of our most popular sessions, some of Colorado's most well respected government relations professionals will discuss where we go next with state health policy and the upcoming 2022 session. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Travis Berry: Partner, Politicalworks, LLC

Jennifer Brandeberry: Partner, Brandeberry McKenna

Diana Protopapa: Partner, Frontline Public Affairs 

Tanya Kelly-Bowry: Partner, Policy Matters

9:30 - 10:20

Successes in SDOH and community-level care

The importance of the social determinants is now well known. But doing something to employ that knowledge in a meaningful and sustainable way is easier said than done. This panel will discuss the intersection between the health care delivery system and the community, as well as the lessons learned from working to connect the two to improve conditions where we live, work, and play.

Rep. Iman Jodeh: Member, House Public & Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee 

Abner Mason: Chief Executive Officer, ConsejoSano

Rick Curtsinger: Director, External Affairs, Quality Health Network

Kyle Legleiter: Senior Director of Policy, Colorado Health Foundation

9:30 - 10:20

How has COVID transformed the health care system?

The pandemic has laid bare some of the central challenges of our health care system. From a fee-for-service model that leaves us all at risk during a public health crisis, to structural inequity that continues to generate variations in care based on race, this session will look ahead to discuss how we can learn from the pandemic to better inform a new system of care in the years to come.

Andrew French, MD: Vice President of Quality, Safety, and Clinical Operations, Centura Health 

Katherine Mulready: Chief Strategy Officer, Colorado Hospital Association

Colleen Casper: Executive Director, Colorado Nurses Association

Michele Lueck: President & Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Health Institute

9:30 - 10:20

The evolution of value based care

The move to value based care has been more than a decade in the making. Yet Colorado's health care system continues to shows wide variation in the quality of health outcomes and the financial performance of health care providers. This session will explore what has been working in Colorado regarding value-based care and where there are still obstacles to moving this vision forward.

Gaurav Nagrath: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates 

Patrick Gordon: President & Chief Executive Officer, Rocky Mountain Health Plan

Trevor Abeyta: Payment Reform Section Manager, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

10:30 - 11:20

Policy leadership: Democrats

Health care reform remains the top issue for Democratic voters, and certainly one of the areas of primary concern for Democrats in the Legislature. With majorities in both chambers, Democrats are expected to continue to drive the health care reform conversation in next year’s session. Bring your questions to what is always a thoughtful conversation on the future of health policy in Colorado.

Sen. Janet Buckner: Member, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Shannon Bird: Chair, House Finance Committee

Rep. Susan Lontine: Chair, House Insurance Committee

Rep. Naquetta Ricks: Member, House Public and Behavioral Health Committee

10:30 - 11:20

Social and racial disparities in equity and outcomes

From vaccine distribution to access to health care services, there continues to be variation in health outcomes based on race, gender, and economic status. So, what are the moral implications of this difficult reality? How can our system do better by our neighbors and community members? Be prepared to engage in a dynamic discussion on how we as a health care community can do better.

Rep. Leslie Herod: Chair, Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus

Bobby King: Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Colorado Access

Leslye Steptoe: Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness, Mental Health Center of Denver 

Rayna Hetlage: Senior Policy Manager, Center for Health Progress 

10:30 - 11:20

What is next for Colorado's public option?

The future Colorado's public option will continue to be shaped by rule-making, legislation and the market's response. With so many interests and points of influence, the future path of the public option is likely to take a few twists and turns. So, this session will look ahead to the future of a state public option, both in Colorado and with a guest from Washington State, while also exploring other proposals aimed at lowering health care costs.

Rep. Dylan Roberts: Chair, House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

Kyle Brown: Deputy Insurance Commissioner, Colorado Division of Insurance

Amanda Massey: Executive Director, Colorado Association of Health Plans

Leah Hole-Marshall: General Counsel and Chief Strategist, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

10:30 - 11:20

Measuring tradeoffs in Rx policy

Prescription drug pricing and purchasing has been a major topic in both policy and market-centered conversations. So, where do we stand on the other side of a big session on the subject? How has COVID changed the perception or importance of pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry? This panel will explore these topics and answer your questions on state prescription drug policy.

Katelin Lucairello: Director, State Policy, PhRMA

Debra Judy: Deputy Commissioner, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Colorado Division of Insurance 

Emily Zadvorny: Executive Director, Colorado Pharmacists Association

11:30 - 12:20

Policy Leadership: Republicans

This panel includes some of the most important Republican legislators in Colorado health policy. They will gather to share their thoughts on health and fiscal policy since the end of this year’s legislative session, and how the pandemic will continue to impact the work of the legislature in 2022. Bring your questions to what is always a highly attended and dynamic session.

Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer: Member, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Richard Holtorf: Member, House Public and Behavioral Health Committee 

Rep. Colin Larson: Member, House Public and Behavioral Health Committee 

11:30 - 12:20

How health tech is becoming more culturally competent

It's clear that technology will continue to disrupt health care, and with luck, leave the sector much improved. This session will discuss how policy makers can support innovation in the space while ensuring access to those in need, both on an individual and community level.

Julia Rosen: Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Centura Health 

Sandeep Wadhwa: Global Chief Medical Officer, 3M HIS

Julius Bogdan: Vice President & General Manager, Digital Health Advisory - North America, HIMSS

Alexandra Mannerings, PhD: Analytics educator and consultant, Merakinos

Stephanie Bennett: State Health IT Coordinator, Office of eHealth Innovation

11:30 - 12:20

Scoping Colorado's evolving behavioral health system

The impacts of the pandemic are likely to continue to affect our mental health for years to come. From increased substance use to anxiety about social settings, many in Colorado will face a difficult path to a "new normal." This panel will discuss the changing needs of Colorado’s behavioral health system, as well as the policy responses that can support those needs.

Rep. Mary Young: Vice-Chair, House Education Committee 

Rob Bremer, PhD: Vice President, Network Strategy, Colorado Access

Daniel Darting: Chief Executive Officer, Signal Behavioral Health 

Robert Werthwein: Director, Colorado Office of Behavioral Health

11:30 - 12:20

Is there an optimal financial relationship between purchasers and providers?

As provider contracts with health plans have grown more innovative and customized in recent years, we’ve learned more about what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to alignment, incentives, and collaboration in financing care. This panel will review those lessons and discuss whether an “optimal” relationship might exist between the organizations that pay for care and those that provide it.

Mark Carley: President, Payer Relations, Centura Health

Jonathan Bradley: Principal, Ironwood Health

Rob Vissers, MD: President & Chief Executive Officer, Boulder Community Hospital

Bob Smith: Executive Director, Colorado Business Group on Health 

12:30 - 1:20

Update from HCPF

This session hosts senior HCPF leaders who will discuss the agency's work to address health disparities in Medicaid, to transform the state's behavioral health system, and its approach to investing federal dollars to support and reform the home and community-based system of care in Colorado. Bring your questions to what is a great opportunity for dialog and interaction. 

Pete Walsh, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing

Cristen Bates: Director, Population Health Division, Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing

Bonnie Silva: Director, Officer of Community Living, Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing

12:30 - 1:20

Workforce through a DEI lens

Increased awareness of the importance of investments in diversity and equity has led to new initiatives in health care, especially regarding workforce. This panel will review efforts underway to create a more inclusive health care workforce, approach to care, and connection to the communities served.

Megan Beers: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates

Maria Kneusel-Rivera: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, Centura Health

Abigail Lara, MD: Medical Director for Health Equity, UCHealth 

12:30 - 1:20

Federal policy action and its impact on coverage and access in Colorado

The conversation in Washington DC around health care today is expansive, with a focus on driving access and coverage for Americans. This discussion addresses the changing health policy landscape in Congress and the Biden Administration with a focus on ACA, Medicaid and CHIP reforms and what they may mean for Colorado. This panel of respected national figures will join us from Washington DC to share their latest insights and analysis on how the federal policy landscape might shift in the months ahead.

Jennifer Babcock: Senior Vice President, Association for Community Affiliated Health Plans

Sabrina Corlette: Founder & Co-Director, Georgetown Center of Health Insurance Reforms 

Bruce Lesley: President, First Focus

Mara Baer: Founder, AgoHealth (moderator)

12:30 - 1:20

Changing purchaser strategies for controlling health care costs

From value-based care driven by public players to the hybrid models featured in the commercial lines of business, the range of innovations in payment methodologies is both daunting and exciting. The relationship between the plan which pays for care and the provider which delivers it remains the single most important relationship in all of health care. This panel will bring their insights and their honest approach to bend the cost curve.

Claire Brockbank: Chief Executive Officer, Peak Health Alliance 

Kim Bimestefer: Director, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Gregory Tung, PhD: Associate Professor, Colorado School of Public Health 

1:30 - 2:30

Keynote: A four-corner conversation on health policy

We are bringing together a diverse panel of Colorado lawmakers for a unique four-corner discussion on health policy. During this discussion, four prominent lawmakers with considerable health experience will look back at this year's session, look ahead to the legislative conversations to come, and share their thoughts on the future for Colorado health policy.

Sen. Jim Smallwood: Chair, House Minority Caucus

Sen. Rhonda Fields: Chair, Senate Health and Human Services Committee 

Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet: Chair, House Public and Behavioral Health Committee

Rep. Matt Soper: Vice Chair, House Committee on Legal Services