As President Barack Obama began his second term in office and political battles raged over federal budget cuts and the future of entitlement programs, 80 of Nashville’s emerging health care industry leaders had the opportunity to hear first-hand perspectives from the nation’s most respected health care policy experts in Washington, D.C.
On March 13 and 14, Leadership Health Care (LHC) made its 11th annual journey to the nation’s capital to hear from members of Congress, Administration officials and Capitol Hill staff members instrumental in writing, influencing and implementing health care policy. Delegation speakers also included public policy advisors and representatives from health care industry think tanks.
Delegates welcomed keynote speaker Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., an economist and senior fellow with Project Hope and the former administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, and heard from a panel of health care thought leaders about the impact of the ongoing federal budget battle on entitlement programs and health care reform.
“The delegation gives attendees insight into the political climate and health care discussions shaping policy in Washington,” said Mark Wainner, LHC chairman and AmSurg vice president. “Delegates can take that information home and immediately use it to help with strategic business decision making.”
The delegation also included a dinner featuring remarks from David Wasserman, house editor of The Cook Political Report, an independent, non-partisan newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Governors and President, as well as American political trends.
Michael Hash, director, Office of Health Reform, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, updated delegates on ongoing efforts to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including development of health insurance marketplaces and several demonstration projects looking at improving quality and reducing costs.
“We’ve been laying what we think is the groundwork for delivering on the promises of the ACA aimed at improving quality and reducing cost of care,” he said.
The annual delegation to Washington, D.C., is a signature LHC program. This year’s agenda also included:
- U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
- U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)
- U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
- U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
- Joseph R. Antos, Ph.D., Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute
- Stuart Butler, Distinguished Fellow and Director, Center for Policy Innovation, The Heritage Foundation
- Tate Heuer, Legislative Assistant for Health, Office of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
- Michael Ramlet, Principal, Purple Strategies and Founder and Editor, “The Morning Consult”
- Travis Robey, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
- Josh Trent, Health Policy Adviser, Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)
- Paul N. Van de Water, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Emily Wilkinson, Legislative Assistant, Health, Office of U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
“Visiting Washington, D.C., with LHC members furthers the group’s mission to cultivate future industry leaders,” said Nashville Health Care Council President Caroline Young. “We’re proud to have had such strong participation for our 11th annual delegation, and are glad for the opportunity to showcase Nashville’s robust health care industry to influencers in Washington.”
Attendees represented diverse sectors of Nashville’s health care industry, including hospital management, ambulatory surgery centers, managed care, health care IT and wellness providers, as well as professional services such as finance, law, communications and accounting.
This year’s delegation scholarships were awarded to George Brandes, associate, Strategic Planning and Innovation Group, Division of Health Care Finance and Administration, State of Tennessee and David Anderson, manager, Financial Operations group, AmSurg.
Sponsors for this year’s LHC Delegation to Washington D.C., were Bass, Berry & Sims; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; C3 Consulting; Deloitte; Harris Williams & Co.; Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock; Kraft Healthcare Consulting; Lovell Communications;Raymond James Healthcare Investment Banking Group; and Waller.