May 23, 2023

SAFE Credit Union Convention Center

2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference

Conference Overview

The 2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference will once again be taking place in-person in Sacramento on May 23rd, 2023! During past conferences in Sacramento, we’ve covered several hundreds of stories in California healthcare, and convened leaders across the spectrum of care – from carriers and providers as well as local and state agencies. Through an intensive stakeholder process, one centered on the input from our Convening Panel, we’ll highlight the unique issues California faces and how stakeholders are improving care while reducing costs.

The State of Reform Health Policy Conference is focused on bridging the gap between healthcare policy and political reality. Too often, those with good ideas for reforming healthcare don’t have a solid understanding of how the legislative process works. Those who understand politics don’t always comprehend the intricacies of the healthcare system.

State of Reform pulls together practitioners, thought leaders, and policy makers – each working to improve our healthcare system in their own way – into a unified conversation in a single place.

Join us at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center on May 23rd to discuss the most important healthcare activities taking place in Sacramento. If you have questions or speaker suggestions, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

Topical Agenda

Here is our 2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference Topical Agenda! This represents input from hours of conversations with our Convening Panel and stakeholders across the spectrum of Northern California health care over the last number of months.

If you have suggestions for speakers, please feel free to drop us a line. We would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Please note that all agenda times are local.

We are honored to have such a diverse group of leaders from across the health care community joining us to help build our 2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference!

Want to be a speaker? Want to join the convening panel? Just have questions? If so, drop us a line and let us know you’re interested.

SeanAthaSenior Vice President of Business DevelopmentRiver City Medical Group
BillBarcellonaExecutive Vice President, Government AffairsAmerica's Physician Groups
MelissaBorrelliPartnerNossaman LLP
VerneBrizendineCEOAetna Better Health of CA
RachaelBlucherSenior CounselNielsen Merksamer
GregBuchert, MDCEOGSB Health Management Solutions
LisaChan-SawinCEOTransform Health
YvonneChoongDirector of Government AffairsCalifornia Association of Health Facilities
CindyEhnesExecutive Vice PresidentCOPE Health Solutions
MelissaGarrettDirector, Government Relations Elevance Health
HilaryHaycockPresidentAurrera Health Group
PercyHowardPresident & CEOCalifornia Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
MoiraKenneyRegional Network Director, West CoastUnite Us
MariaLacknerDirector of Partnership Engagement BlueShield Promise
AlbertLowey-BallHealth Economics and Policy AdvisorCalifornia Coverage and Health Initiatives
DawnMcFarlandVP, LegislationCAHU
Anne McLeodPresident/CEOPrivate Essential Access Community Hospitals
JeffMillerPresident & Chief Legal OfficerWestern Dental & Orthodontics
AracelyNavarroCommunity Relations RepresentativeHealth Net
Darrel NgVice President, Communications and MarketingHealth Net
DavidPanushPresidentCalifornia Health Policy Strategies
Kassy PerryPresident/CEOPerry Communications
JonathanPorteusCEOWellSpace Health
LeahRosengausDirector, Digital Health Stanford Health Care
Kay StrawderSenior Public Health AdvisorDepartment of Health and Human Services Region 9
AmyThoma TanDirector, Public Affairs and Reputation ManagementSutter Health
TimValderrama Managing DirectorWiedeman Group
ReggieWallaceBusiness Development ManagerCarelon Behavioral Health
DawnWeimarSenior Regional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs3M HIS
Anthony WrightExecutive DirectorHealth Access California

Event Sponsors

 Anthem Blue Cross

Major Sponsors

HMA - Health Management Associates Health Net BluePath Health

Reception Sponsors

BluePath Health Transform Health

Track Sponsor

Carelon Behavioral Health

Exhibitor Sponsors

Unite Us Briljent

Event Sponsors

Major Sponsors

HMA - Health Management Associates Health Net BluePath Health

Track Sponsors

BluePath Health Transform Health Carelon Behavioral Health

Exhibitor Sponsors

Unite Us Briljent

Want to sponsor an upcoming conference?

See Sponorship Details

Our 2023 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 40 speakers and experts from across the spectrum of care.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in California healthcare which makes it possible to look forward to a great event on May 23rd!

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We look forward to seeing you in-person in Sacramento!

7:30 - 8:30

Networking Breakfast

The networking breakfast will take place before the conference begins to allow attendees to grab a light refreshment and connect with their fellow colleagues before we kick things off for the day.

8:30 - 9:15

Opening Keynote

State of Reform is honored to welcome Melissa Stafford Jones, Director of the CalHHS California Children and Youth Behavioral Initiative, to kick-off our conference! With a career grounded in a deep dedication to improving health, she will share the work she and CalHHS have been doing to reimagine California’s children and youth behavioral health system into an innovative, upstream-focused ecosystem where all children and youth are routinely screened, supported, and served for emerging and existing behavioral health needs.

Melissa Stafford Jones: Director, California Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

Margaret Tatar, JD: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates (Conference Host)

9:30 - 10:30

General Session: "California Health Policy" Legislative Priorities in 2023

The California Legislature has passed some of the most progressive health policy initiatives in the country in recent years, and is continuing to make strides to reform the state’s healthcare system during this year’s session. With key policy issues like homelessness, the fentanyl crisis, and more on the table, what is being prioritized this year? Hear from this unique panel made up of both legislators and community advocates about the most top-of-mind issues in the legislature.

Ted Lempert: President, Children Now

Nick Louizos: VP of Legislative Affairs, California Association of Health Plans

Asm. Marie Waldron: Vice-Chair, California Assembly Health Committee

Asm. Jim Wood: Chair, California Assembly Health Committee

Anthony Wright: Executive Director, Health Access California 

10:45 - 11:45

How Will CARE Court Impact the Health System?

The California Legislature passed the CARE Court initiative last year, which provides court-ordered treatment programs for underserved individuals struggling with mental health and/or substance use disorder. Implementing the program across all of California’s counties is a significant undertaking, and stakeholders from all sides of the healthcare system are wondering how they will be impacted. This group of experts will discuss the implications CARE Court has for California healthcare.

Le Ondra Clark Harvey, PhD: Chief Executive Officer, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

Michelle Doty Cabrera: Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California

Stephanie Welch: Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health, California Health & Human Services Agency

10:45 - 11:45

Efforts to Improve Behavioral Health & Access to Care

From school-based efforts addressing increasing rates of youth behavioral health issues, to initiatives that aim to grow the behavioral health workforce, behavioral health has emerged as a central issue for California health policy stakeholders. How can the state ensure its residents have access to high-quality behavioral healthcare when they need it? This panel will provide an overview of the work underway in the behavioral health space and offer insight about future interventions.

Jenny Bayardo: Executive Officer, California Behavioral Health Planning Council

Karen Larsen, LMFT: Chief Executive Officer, Steinberg Institute

Sandrine Pirard, MD, PhD: West Regional Chief Medical Officer, Carelon Behavioral Health

Jonathan Porteus, PhD: Chief Executive Officer, WellSpace Health

10:45 - 11:45

Evaluating Rising Costs & the Office of Healthcare Affordability

The state recently appointed the membership of California’s Office of Health Care Affordability, a state entity whose purpose is to establish cost growth targets to rein in the state’s ever-growing healthcare expenditures. What are the best strategies for curbing this cost growth, and what role will the OHCA play in addressing this? We’ve brought together a group of subject matter experts to talk through the implications of the board and overall cost-reduction strategies in the state.

Margareta Brandt: Assistant Deputy Director, Health System Performance, Office of Health Care Affordability

Mohit Ghose: Government Relations Director, Anthem Blue Cross

Andrew Kiefer: VP State Policy & Advocacy, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

10:45 - 11:45

New 2024 Medi-Cal Managed Care Contracts: Are We Ready?

New, updated Medi-Cal managed care contracts will take effect at the beginning of next year. Through these contracts, DHCS implemented numerous changes and additional responsibilities for health plans participating in the Medi-Cal program—how will California’s healthcare sector be affected? Join some of the region’s leading experts on Medi-Cal managed care for a valuable conversation about how to prepare for the implementation of these contracts.

Rebecca Sullivan: Government Affairs Director, Local Health Plans of California

Susan Philip: Deputy Director, Health Care Delivery Systems, California Department of Health Care Services

Jason Silva: Associate Principal, Health Management Associates (Moderator)

11:45 - 1:00

Networking Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Addressing the Barriers to Health Equity

California has been hyperfocused on bridging gaps in health equity. Reducing barriers to care based on race, income, gender, and other factors requires “in-the-weeds” conversations about what’s working and what isn’t. This panel will include some of the state’s most prominent health equity leaders to discuss how to continue working toward more equitable health outcomes.

Seciah Aquino: Executive Director, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California 

Pooja Mittal, DO: Chief Health Equity Officer, Health Net

Julie Rabinovitz: Principal, Health Management Associates (Moderator)

1:00 - 2:00

Medicaid Redeterminations & Closing the Coverage Gap

California recently began its 14-month process of redetermining Medi-Cal eligibility for around 15 million Californians, following the end of the federal Public Health Emergency’s continuous Medicaid coverage requirement. How can stakeholders from various sectors collaborate to reduce coverage gaps both within and outside of the redetermination process? These experts will break down California’s plan for redeterminations and expanding insurance coverage overall.

Beau Hennemann: RVP, Local Engagement and Plan Performance, Anthem Blue Cross

Darrel Ng: Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Health Net

Cathy Senderling-McDonald: Executive Director, County Welfare Directors Association of California

1:00 - 2:00

CalAIM Progress: ECM & Community Supports

Over the past year, health plans have been implementing innovative CalAIM programs including Enhanced Care Management and Community Supports. As California’s health sector works to refine care delivery for the Medi-Cal population through CalAIM, what has stakeholders’ experience been like in rolling out the program? Join these experts for a valuable conversation about CalAIM’s progress and where we go from here.

Katherine Barresi, RN: Senior Director, Health Services, Partnership HealthPlan of California

Cordia Losh: Chief Strategy Officer, WellSpace Health

Jennifer Miyamoto Echeverria: Director, Social Programs and Services, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

2:15 - 3:15

Multi-Sector Solutions to Workforce Challenges

The healthcare workforce shortage continues to have detrimental effects on every aspect of the healthcare system. Hospitals, behavioral health facilities, community health centers, and many other providers and stakeholders are working tirelessly to find solutions to retain and support current workers while building up the next generation. This multi-perspective panel will discuss the work being done to support and grow the workforce and offer insight about what further efforts are needed.

Alex Briscoe: Principal, California Children’s Trust

Hovik Khosrovian: Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Health Workforce Developement, California Department of Health Care Access and Information

Amy Turnipseed: Chief Strategy & Government Affairs Officer, Partnership HealthPlan of California

Judy Martin-Holland: Principal, Health Management Associates (Moderator)

2:15 - 3:15

Interoperability & Data Exchange Town Hall

Easing access to patient data and ensuring interoperability between systems continues to be a top issue for California healthcare leaders. A stronger health data sharing infrastructure can immensely improve providers’ ability to care for patients, but patient privacy must also continue to be protected. This session will discuss methods to improve access to data for patients and providers and what interoperability can look like in the state.

Bill Barcellona: Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, America’s Physician Groups

Daniel J. Chavez: Executive Director, Serving Communities Health Information Organization

Mimi Hall: Vice President, Public Policy & Partnerships, Manifest Medex

Jennifer Inden: Senior Program Manager, Health Information Technology, Aliados Health

Timi Leslie: President, BluePath Health (Moderator)

2:15 - 3:15

Hospital Financial Pressure & Operational Challenges

Hospitals are still recovering from losses in revenue caused by the pandemic. Lower revenues along with workforce shortages, operational shortcomings, and increased demand for care are still being felt today. This panel will discuss how these issues are affecting hospitals today and what can be done to get them back on track.

Peggy Broussard-Wheeler: Vice President, Policy, California Hospital Association, Sacramento

Ann-Louise Kuhns: President and Chief Executive Officer, California Children’s Hospital Association

Cathy Martin: Chief Executive Officer, Association of California Healthcare Districts

Anne McLeod: President & Chief Executive Officer, Private Essential Access Community Hospitals

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote

To close out the program, we have Commander Matthew C. Johns, Regional Health Administrator for the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in Region 9. In this session, CDR. Johns will talk about how recent federal health policy is affecting Californians and how emerging policy will continue to improve healthcare for the state.

CDR. Matthew C. Johns: Regional Health Administrator, U.S. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health

Margaret Tatar, JD: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates (Conference Host)

4:00 - 4:30

Reception - Sponsored by BluePath Health and Transform Health

Please join us following the Closing Keynote session for a networking reception sponsored by BluePath Health and Transform Health. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be included, giving attendees a wonderful opportunity to follow up on the discussions we’ve had throughout the day.

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