Business to Business Forum on Healthcare Solutions: Sept. 7, 2017

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, New Orleans Chamber and GNO, Inc. hosted the second Business to Business Forum on Healthcare Solutions (B2B Health Forum) on Thursday, Sept. 7.

This daylong event gave Louisiana business owners a chance to meet with subject matter experts and learn more about potential changes to healthcare reform, how to rein in the rising costs from prescription drugs, applying Big Data concepts to healthcare and developing worksite wellness programs, among other topics. There was no cost to attend the event; it was put on as a free service from the hosting organizations.

The forum featured a series of small breakout sessions and two main sessions, including a keynote address on improving healthcare through innovations such as the Apple Watch by Dr. Richard Milani, Ochsner Health System.

The information presented in the breakout sessions is included with each session description below. These materials can be downloaded and distributed on an ongoing basis.

Hometown Productions filmed video of the main sessions of the event, including the keynote address by Dr. Richard Milani, Ochsner Health System, and the Q&A panel comprised of Mike Bertaut, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (moderator), Dr. Corey Hebert, Tulane and WDSU, Dr. Milani and Dr. Vindell Washington, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Breakout Session Topics

Michael Bertaut, Healthcare Economist, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Wesley Miller, Healthcare Policies and Procedures Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana


Repeal? Replace? Keep the Affordable Care Act? Something else? Healthcare reform has been a hot topic in the news this year, and many of the changes being proposed through Congress could significantly alter key components of the Affordable Care Act (2010 healthcare reform law) and affect businesses.

So, what’s the average business person supposed to make of the constantly changing proposals? How on earth does he know what to focus on? Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana healthcare policy experts will go over proposed legislative changes and discuss the potential effects for businesses, while sharing the information and resources on these topics available through Blue Cross’ “Straight Talk” multimedia blog.

Download "Is Healthcare Reform My Business" presentation: Part 1 | Part 2

Milam Ford, Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Prescription drug costs keep rising, and this represents an ever-increasing expense for business owners.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Pharmacist Milam Ford will explain the factors driving these increased costs, and go over strategies such as tightening covered drug lists that employers can adopt to better manage their pharmacy spend. In addition, Ford will discuss changes Blue Cross has made to its opioid drug coverage policies effective for 2018, in response to the epidemic of abuse and overdoses from prescription painkillers.

Download "Hold the Line" presentation

Quinn Banquer, Health Promotion and Wellness Manager
Eileen Wilcox, Human Resources Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Keisha Boss RN, Health and Well-Being Manager, Benefits and Employee Services

Since people spend a great deal of their time at work, it’s important to bring health solutions there. Blue Cross and its partners offer a variety of programs that members can take advantage of to stay healthy, increase their productivity and feel their best at all times. Blue Cross has successfully brought wellness solutions to employer groups around the state, including its own 2,000+ employee group, helping them develop an effective worksite culture of well-being.

Members of Blue Cross’ wellness and HR teams will share best practices and insights, offer examples of supportive policies and procedures, and provide valuable information on how to easily get started with a worksite wellness program or maximize your current strategies.

Download "Leading by Example" presentation

Somesh Nigam, Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

There is a vast amount of data generated today, particularly in healthcare. How can health plans, businesses, providers and other stakeholders harness the power of all that information to intervene and help people before they get sick or become sicker, getting better outcomes and holding down costs?

Blue Cross’ Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Somesh Nigam will describe the company’s multi-year Data Excellence Initiative, which is focused on standardizing data throughout the company to use it predictively and serve customers more effectively. Nigam will share examples of predictive analytics capabilities and some of the innovative, data-driven tools available today, such as the recently launched SmartShopper tool, which is based on information from Blue Cross claims data and lets customers shop around, comparing prices for common medical procedures.

Download "Sooner, Better, Faster" presentation

Bryan Taylor NP, Clinical Partnerships Care Transformation Consultant, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Why does it seem like illnesses always strike when the doctor’s office is closed? Wouldn’t it be nice to see and speak with a doctor without having to drive around and find a place that’s open to get care?

Well, it’s possible! Earlier this year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana launched BlueCare, its first telehealth platform that lets patients have online doctor visits 24/7, using a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any device with internet and a camera. BlueCare is as legitimate as an in-person visit – all doctors on the platform are U.S. trained and board certified - to treat minor illnesses like cough, cold, mild stomach bugs, rashes or bladder infections. Patients can get prescriptions with BlueCare, and can use this for follow-up visits if needed.

With unnecessary ER visits being a big driver of healthcare costs, BlueCare can be an effective option for patients to find wraparound care after hours and on weekends. Blue Cross Care Transformation Consultant Bryan Taylor will explain how BlueCare works, describe its cost-savings potential and review its utilization since the rollout.

Download "BlueCare" presentation

The healthcare, medical research and bioscience sectors continue to grow in in the New Orleans area. Careers in these fields continue to be a significant employer in the Southeast Louisiana region, and facilities in the area are driving more destination care and medical tourism.

GNO Inc. will present findings from its recent “State of the Sector” report and give an overview of the current state of this industry, future growth opportunities and key institutions that are driving change.

Download the "State of the Sector" report