Business to Business Forum on Healthcare Solutions: Aug. 23, 2018

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is not just a health plan; we’re a Louisiana business and employer as well. We face many of the same healthcare and business challenges as you do, especially rising healthcare costs.

Our annual Business to Business Forum on Healthcare Solutions brings business leaders and community organizations together with healthcare providers, insurance plan executives, government officials, advocates and others to talk about what we all can do to promote better health among our employees and keep costs in line.

During the opening session, the forum featured Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyi, CEO of Blue Cross, and keynote speaker Adam Beck, America’s Health Insurance Plans’ vice president of employer health policy and initiatives. Beck addressed the role and value of the employer market in healthcare today.

Smaller breakout sessions covered topics including how innovation is improving care, how changes in healthcare reform law might affect your business, how Blue Cross is combating rising drug costs, and the value of wellness in the workplace.

After a networking lunch, the forum concluded with a panel Q&A discussion. The panel featured CEOs Michael Hecht, of GNO, Inc.; Ben Johnson, of the New Orleans Chamber; Quentin Messer, of the New Orleans Business Alliance; and Stephen Waguespack, of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Healthcare economist Michael Bertaut, of Blue Cross, served as moderator.

Breakout Sessions

Healthcare Reform in 2018: What’s changing and what do you need to look out for?
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

Employer Mandates, big fines from the IRS, Association Health Plans (AHPs) and Short-Term Limited Duration (STLD) medical plans. There is a lot happening on the federal regulation side of group health plans right now. Wes Miller, Blue Cross Health Policy and Association Affairs, talked about Association Health Plans and how those could work in Louisiana, as well as the recently released rules for STLDs. Michael Bertaut, Blue Cross healthcare economist, spoke about the employer mandate and what you can do if you are the unlucky recipient of one of the IRS letters fining employers $9 billion.

A Balancing Act: Health, Safety and Affordability in Prescription Drug Coverage
Milam Ford, Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
In the medical landscape today, we battle the unsustainable cost of medications with controls insurers have had to put in place to ensure patients receive quality, evidence-based care and to keep premiums as affordable as possible. Our head of Pharmacy Services, Milam Ford, went over what we do to help our customers manage their medication treatments safely and protect the affordability of prescription drug coverage that businesses can offer their employees.

Embracing Predictive Models to Enhance Care, Customer Service
Somesh Nigam, Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
As we mobilize advanced analytics and better understand the healthcare delivery system and patients’ needs, we’re improving the health and lives of our neighbors. Blue Cross’ Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Somesh Nigam, shared the latest from the company’s multi-year Data Excellence Initiative and how Blue Cross is developing a robust analytic capability that provides insight to make better decisions and to better serve customers and partner with providers. Nigam described increased capabilities through deployed predictive models and how they connect with care teams and their intervention strategies.

Innovation to Improve Service
Dr. Vindell Washington, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
In today’s digital world, people handle the majority of their business and personal needs online. Increasingly, people expect to handle healthcare needs digitally as well. Spurred by new public demand, healthcare is rapidly moving into the digital age by applying the same advanced analytics, Big Data, machine learning and consumer applications that retailers have used successfully for years. Blue Cross’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vindell Washington, described current clinical projects and initiatives under way that the insurer is leading to boost health outcomes, improve service and better meet customers’ expectations of 21st century healthcare.

Wellness in the Workplace
Dr. Corey Hebert, CEO, Community Health TV, and Assistant Professor, LSU
The modern workplace grind leaves little room for employees to incorporate mental and physical fitness into their daily lives, especially for those with desk jobs. Studies have shown that being inactive for consecutive hours each day can significantly increase one’s risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even a shorter life expectancy. Using his energetic and dynamic personality, Dr. Corey Hebert explained the value of prioritizing wellness in the workplace and its connection to long-term health and healthcare costs.