Today, the Nashville Health Care Council hosted Robert Galvin, M.D., CEO, Equity Healthcare, and operating partner, Blackstone Group, for a discussion on employer-driven changes to the health care market. The discussion was moderated by Senator Bill Frist, M.D.

View event photos on Flickr.
Photo credit: (c) 2016, Donn Jones.

Equity Healthcare (EH) oversees the management of health care for firms owned by private equity companies. The company focuses on using purchasing power to create innovative ways to achieve higher-value health care through improved population health, clinical quality and delivery system reforms. Currently, EH encompasses 45 companies with health care spending exceeding $1.5 billion annually. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackstone Group, where Galvin is an operating partner.

“The Affordable Care Act fundamentally changed employers’ role in the health care system by making the provision for health benefits mandatory rather than voluntary for employers with more than 50 employees and establishing minimum criteria for affordability and coverage,” Galvin said.

Galvin pointed out that almost all employers have chosen to continue coverage of some sort, partly because there is little to no cost advantage to discontinuing health coverage and paying the penalty. Also, the growth in health care costs has slowed over the past few years, so most employers have not felt the need to make a change.

Instead, Galvin explained, employers have turned to two new benefit designs to control costs – the defined-contribution plans and high-deductible plans – leading their employees, now with more skin in the game, to act more like consumers in their choices.

As former executive director of health services and chief medical officer for General Electric and co-founder of Leapfrog Group, Galvin has a significant perspective on value in health care.

“Employers are powerful. They look for value for their dollar now more than ever, which is why the industry must push toward value-based payment models,” Galvin said.

“With people becoming more involved in decisions around their care, a demand for transparency and competitive pricing is growing,” Frist said. “Nashville’s health care community is poised to take on this challenge and innovate to meet the needs of the health care consumers of tomorrow.”

“Our members are making decisions every day that affect health care across the nation. We are pleased to bring Dr. Galvin to Nashville to have these important conversations about the future of health care,” said Hayley Hovious, Council president.

The presenting sponsor for today’s program was Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. Supporting sponsors were The Buffkin Group, Change Healthcare, emids and North Highland.

About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council is a premier association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. Supported by nearly 300 corporate members, the Council serves as a trusted source for information on trends that influence the health care industry. The organization provides members with one-of-a-kind networking opportunities and access to Nashville’s elite health care business community.

Worldwide, Nashville’s health care industry generates more than 500,000 jobs and $73 billion in annual revenue. The industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest-growing employer. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.

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