February 27, 2024

AT&T Hotel and Conference Center

2024 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference

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Conference Overview

The 2024 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference is once again going to take place in-person in Austin on February 27, 2024!

State of Reform pulls together practitioners, thought leaders, and policymakers – each working to improve the healthcare system in their own way – into a unified conversation in a single place. It is sure to be one of the most diverse statewide gatherings of senior healthcare leaders, and one of the most important events in Texas healthcare. If you are interested in understanding what occurs at the nexus of healthcare and politics, then this is the conference for you!

Join us at the AT&T Conference Center on February 27th to discuss the most important healthcare activities taking place in Texas. 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 2024 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference Topical Agenda! This represents input from our Advisory Panel and stakeholders across the spectrum of Texas healthcare over the last number of weeks.

If you have suggestions for speakers, please feel free to drop us a line. We would love to hear your thoughts on this! If you have not already registered, you can do so here.

Please note that all agenda times are local.

7:30-8:30

Registration/Networking Breakfast

8:30

Opening Keynote

Michelle Alletto: Chief Program & Services Officer, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

9:30-10:30

Strategies for Continuing to Improve Maternal Healthcare Quality & Access

Responding to & Preventing Healthcare Workplace Violence

10:45-11:45

Addressing Community-Based Workforce Shortages

A Focus on Children’s Health: Telehealth, School-Based Services, & More

Exploring Innovations to Increase Behavioral Health Access

11:45

Networking Lunch

1:00-2:00

Healthcare Coverage in Texas: Current & Future Picture

Effective Suicide Prevention & Crisis Response

The Future of Hospital-at-Home & Home-Based Services

2:15-3:15

The Impact of AI & Data Analytics on Healthcare

Understanding Texas’ 2024 Political Landscape

Housing, Food Insecurity, & More: Supporting the Social Service Needs of Texans

3:30

Closing Keynote

Sen. Nathan Johnson: State Senator, SD 16, Texas State Senate

Luis Figueroa: Chief of Legislative Affairs, Every Texan

Tina Tran: Texas State Director, American Association of Retired Persons

4:00

Reception – Sponsored by Carelon

We are honored to release our list of Advisory Panel members ahead of our 2024 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference taking place on February 27th, 2024!

If you know Texas health care, then you know this is a “who’s who” of senior healthcare executives and health policy leaders in the state! These folks will help shape our February agenda through a process that launches mid-fall of 2023!

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

First:Last:Title:Organization:
DavidBalatDirector, Right on Health Care InitiativeTexas Public Policy Foundation
JoelBallewVP, Government & Community AffairsTexas Health Resources
TomBanningCEOTexas Academy of Family Physicians
NoraBelcherCEOTexas e-Health Alliance
Serena BumpusChief Executive OfficerTexas Nurses Association
AllisonCastlePresidentCastle Communications
RyanClayPrincipalTexas Star Alliance
KevinDenmarkVP, Client PartnershipsCarelon Behavioral Health
JamieDudensingChief Executive OfficerTexas Association of Health Plans
CameronDuncanVice President, Advocacy & Public policyTexas Hospital Association
AnneDunkelbergSenior Fellow, Health & Food JusticeEvery Texan
MatthewFerraraDirector of State Regulatory Affairs3M HIS
KayGhahremaniPresident & CEOTexas Association of Community Health Plans
George GoochCEO Texas Health Services Authority
Michelle HarperExecutive Vice PresidentMeadows Mental Health Policy Institute
HelenKent-DavisAssociate Vice PresidentTexas Medical Association
LisaKirschSenior Policy Director, Dean's OfficeDell Medical School UT Austin
SherriLaytonDirector of Public Policy & AdvocacyLa Hacienda Treatment Center
StephenLovePresident & CEODallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council
Charles MillerSenior Policy AdvisorTexas 2036
JeffMillerPresident & Chief Legal OfficerWestern Dental & Orthodontics
KipynMillerSenior ManagerErnst & Young
JasonNeermanVice President, Business DevelopmentCareSource
StephenPalmerPrincipalHealth Management Associates
GeronimoRodriguezTexas Chief Advocacy OfficerAscension Texas
Stephanie RogersCEOAetna

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Time
Title
7:30 - 8:30

Networking Breakfast

The Networking Breakfast will take place before the start of the conference 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

We’re thrilled to welcome Michelle Alletto, chief program and services officer at the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, for our Opening Keynote. Grab a seat to hear Alletto provide updates on the agency’s ongoing work to improve healthcare in Texas, and what HHSC has planned for 2024.

Michelle Alletto: Chief Program and Services Officer, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

9:30 - 10:30

Strategies for Continuing to Improve Maternal Healthcare Quality & Access

Texas policy leaders have placed increased focus on improving care for new and expecting mothers in recent years, aiming to curb the state’s high maternal mortality rates. This panel includes Texas’s foremost experts on the issue. They will discuss persisting challenges in the area, including labor and delivery access in rural areas and inequitable access to maternal care along race and ethnicity.

Diana Forester: Director of Health Policy, Texans Care for Children

Morgan Miles: Executive Director, Giving Austin Labor Support (GALS)

Sherri Onyiego, MD, PhD: Texas Market Medical Director, Equality Health

Anna Taranova: Deputy Chief Public Health, Innovation & Equity Officer, University Health

Merila Thorne-Thomsen: Consultant, Health Management Associates (moderator)

9:30 - 10:30

Responding to & Preventing Healthcare Workplace Violence

Increased levels of violence against healthcare workers are a top priority for policymakers. The Texas Hospital Association and Texas Nurses Association recently released a Workplace Violence Prevention Guide to help alleviate the issue. This panel will discuss how hospitals, emergency rooms, and human service providers move forward with violence prevention and ensure Texas’ valued providers are safe to do their work.

Serena Bumpus, DNP, RN, NEA-BC: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Nurses Association

Sen. Donna Campbell, MD: State Senator, Texas State Senate

Cameron Duncan, JD: Vice President, Advocacy and Public Policy, Texas Hospital Association

Bethany Fijan, MSN, CMSRN: Assistant Clinical Professor, Texas Woman’s University

Katharine Weiss, MPA: Program Director, State of Reform (moderator)

10:45 - 11:45

Addressing Community-Based Workforce Shortages

The healthcare workforce shortage has long been a challenge across Texas and the rest of the nation. This panel focuses on Texas’ shortage of community-based healthcare workers, such as home-based care providers, nursing home staff, and doulas. Speakers will talk through the most promising strategies for growing and retaining this essential part of Texas’ healthcare workforce.

Rachel Hammon, BSN, RN: Executive Director, Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice (TAHC&H)

Clare McNutt, PA-C, MSHS: Vice President of Primary Care Innovation, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Tina Tran: Texas State Director, AARP

Courtney West: President, Texas Rural Health Association; Senior Associate Dean of Educational Affairs, Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Erin Cusack: Director of Government Affairs, Texas Nurse Practitioners (moderator)

10:45 - 11:45

A Focus on Children’s Health: Telehealth, School-Based Services, & More

Ensuring children have access to critical preventive mental health services is a priority for health leaders in Texas. Telehealth and school-based services have immense potential to reduce the rate of youth behavioral health issues—so how should leaders proceed to maximize the uptake and impact of these services? This discussion will evaluate the best solutions for improving children’s health in the state.

Diana Rios-Rodriguez, MSN, BSN, RN: Director of Health & Wellness, Manor Independent School District

Luanne Southern: Executive Director, Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

Hani Talebi, PhD: Chief Clinical Officer & Senior Vice President for Health Systems Integration, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Merila Thorne-Thomsen: Consultant, Health Management Associates (moderator)

10:45 - 11:45

Exploring Innovations to Increase Behavioral Health Access

There’s a significant gap between the supply and demand of behavioral health services in Texas. The state must innovate its behavioral health system to care for Texans with behavioral health challenges—particularly those with severe and complex behavioral health needs. We brought together these experts for a robust discussion about various areas of Texas behavioral health including integration, the inadequacy of post-discharge services, incoming additional psychiatric hospitals, and much more.

Sonja Gaines, MBA: Deputy Executive Commissioner, Behavioral Health Services, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

Greg Hansch: Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Texas

Julie McMasters: Senior Clinical Manager, Texas, Carelon Behavioral Health

Sydney Harris, MHA: Director of Mental Health Care Redesign, Dell Medical School, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

11:45 - 12:45

Networking Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Healthcare Coverage in Texas: Current & Future Picture

Health leaders have been working to reduce Texas’ nation-leading rates of uninsured individuals for many years. Factoring in the impact of Medicaid redeterminations, what is the status of coverage growth efforts? Where are there opportunities for collaboration to ensure as many Texans have access to affordable health insurance as possible? This panel will discuss these questions and more.

Sonia Lara: Outreach, Enrollment & Special Populations Director, Texas Association of Community Health Centers

Charles Miller: Senior Policy Advisor, Texas 2036

Brittney Taylor-Ross: Senior Policy Analyst, Every Texan

Carter Kimble: Principal, Health Management Associates (moderator)

1:00 - 2:00

Effective Suicide Prevention & Crisis Response

Following the implementation of the 988 hotline nationwide, Texas continues to refine its approach to providing crisis response for patients in need. How has 988 service coordination with the state been going? Where has the state made progress with suicide prevention, and what challenges remain to be solved? Join this panel discussion to hear some of the state’s top crisis response leaders discuss the path forward.

Jon Fortune: Deputy City Manager, City of Dallas

Josette Saxton: Co-Chair, Texas Suicide Prevention Council

BJ Wagner: Senior Vice President of Health & Public Safety, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Reilly Webb: Associate Commissioner, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Programs, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

1:00 - 2:00

The Future of Hospital-at-Home & Home-Based Services

Many Texans who are unable to receive care in traditional healthcare settings heavily rely on home-based health-related services. With the growing use of telehealth and technology like remote monitoring, what does the future of home-based care look like in Texas? Hear from top leaders in the area during this panel discussion.

Mae Centeno: Chief Nursing Officer, Texas Health Resources

Mari Robinson: Director of Telehealth, University of Texas Medical Branch

Anna Taranova: Deputy Chief Public Health, Innovation & Equity Officer, University Health

Ann-Marie Price: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates (moderator)

2:15 - 3:15

The Impact of AI & Data Analytics on Healthcare

Artificial intelligence’s impact on healthcare is top-of-mind for many working in Texas healthcare. How can the state avoid the harmful effects of AI? How can Texas use AI and analytics in a way that benefits everyone involved in the healthcare system? These experts will provide an overview of this high-interest topic and explore potential paths forward.

Phil Beckett: Chief Executive Officer, C3HIE

Ronke Komolafe: Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Advancing Integrated Health

Bret Shillingstad: Executive Director & Chief Medical Information Officer, Microsoft

Trey Sutten: Chief Executive Officer, Siftwell

2:15 - 3:15

Understanding Texas’ 2024 Political Landscape

The Texas Legislature isn’t scheduled to meet this year, but there’s no shortage of interest in the state’s political landscape. Health leaders are keen on learning how potential changes in federal  and state leadership could impact health policymaking in the future. Attend this discussion to hear experts evaluate politics’ impact on healthcare in Texas.

Jack Frazee, JD: Director of Government Affairs & General Counsel, Texas Nurses Association

Blake Hutson: Director of Public Affairs, Texas Association of Health Plans

Clayton Stewart: Vice President of Public Affairs & Chief Lobbyist, Texas Medical Association

Heather Vasek: Senior Policy Advisor, Delisi Communications

Ann-Marie Price: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates (moderator)

2:15 - 3:15

Housing, Food Insecurity, & More: Supporting the Social Service Needs of Texans

There is a growing recognition in Texas of the need to fund health-related services outside of the traditional healthcare setting. These include housing support, food services, and justice-involved services. This panel will explore what might lie ahead as the Texas healthcare system looks to cover social services for patients who need them and ensure the delivery of comprehensive health services.

Marisa Bono: Chief Executive Officer, Every Texan

Tanweer Kaleemullah: Director of Policy & Research, Episcopal Health Foundation

Rachel Koay: Chief Impact & Equity Officer, Feeding Texas

Lindsay Lanagan: Vice President, Government Relations & Compliance Officer, CareSource Bayou Health

Carter Kimble: Principal, Health Management Associates (moderator)

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote

We’ve convened a group of leaders from different areas of the health policy landscape for a conversation about healthcare affordability. Don’t miss out on a valuable discussion focused on how different silos can best work together to reduce cost constraints and ensure healthcare is accessible for all Texans.

Sen. Nathan Johnson: State Senator, SD 16, Texas State Senate

Luis Figueroa: Chief of Legislative Affairs, Every Texan

Tina Tran: Texas State Director, American Association of Retired Persons

Carter Kimble: Principal, Health Management Associates (moderator)

4:00

Reception - Sponsored by Carelon Behavioral Health

Please join us following the Closing Keynote for a Networking Reception, sponsored by Carelon Behavioral 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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