Annual Keenan Summit Addresses Challenges and Opportunities in Health Care

Friday, March 26, 2010 Press Release
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TORRANCE, Calif., March 25 Keenan & Associates, the largest privately-held insurance brokerage and consulting firm in California, convened its sixth annual Keenan Summit on March 3, 2010, in Pasadena, Calif., and on March 4, 2010, in Berkeley. The theme for this year's summit was "Navigating Through Unprecedented Times: Today's Challenges. Tomorrow's Solutions."

The Keenan Summit brings together representatives from school districts, municipalities and health care organizations for a daylong agenda designed to provide them with the latest information on important trends in public policy and health care, as well as practical information on effectively managing programs such as employee benefits, workers' compensation, liability and risk management.

"Our goal in providing the annual Keenan Summit is to assemble a powerful set of thought leaders who can address the significant long-term trends as well as the day-to-day challenges facing those who are tasked with providing innovative and effective insurance solutions for their organizations," said Henry Loubet, Chief Strategy Officer for Keenan. "With health care reform front and center on a national basis this year, these issues are more vital than ever."

In his introductory remarks, Loubet set the stage with some key statistics on the current state of health care in America: 46.3 million people uninsured, $16,771 per year cost of employer provided family coverage, 80% of those covered happy with current arrangements, 17% of the economy represented by health care, national deficit of $1.8 trillion, cost of health care legislation between $898 billion and $1.3 trillion, 52% of people worried they cannot pay for future health care in the event of serious illness, 47% worried they will not be able to afford all routine health services they need, and 20% reporting they or a family member delayed needed medical care in the past year due to cost.

He also noted that the key elements likely to emerge from health care reform, if passed, could include insurance policy arrangements, new restrictions on insurers, innovative care delivery models, health information technology advances, expansion of COBRA subsidies, comparative effectiveness research, malpractice reform, and expanded wellness and prevention programs.

This year's Summit kicked off with a distinguished panel of experts addressing the topic of "Health Care Reform 2010 and Beyond: Where Do We Go from Here?" Moderated by Loubet, the panel included Leslie Margolin, President, Anthem Blue Cross; Tom Epstein, Vice President, Government Affairs, Blue Shield of California; Michael Johnson, Director, Public Policy, Blue Shield of California; Larry Tallman, Vice President, Sales, Health Net; Jerry Fleming, Senior Vice President & National Health Plan Manager, Kaiser Permanente; Ben Slocum, Chief Executive Officer, United Healthcare; Don Crane, President and CEO, California Association of Physician Groups; Alain Enthoven, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Stanford University; Steven Sell, President, Health Net; and Joy Higa, Vice President, United Healthcare.

Key observations from the panel included:

Keynote speaker for the Summit was Dr. Melina Jampolis, MD, nutrition specialist, author and TV commentator. Dr. Jampolis is a board-certified internist and physician nutrition specialist (one of only 200 in the country) specializing exclusively in nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment. Dr. Jampolis provided an entertaining and highly informative presentation on the role of nutrition in preventive medicine and achieving optimal health. She maintains a small private practice in San Francisco and Los Angeles

Afternoon presentations included Frank Neuhauser, Project Director and Research Specialist, on a UC Berkeley study on the potential advantages of integrating occupational and non-occupational health care; Barry Arbuckle, CEO MemorialCare Medical Centers, and John Wray, Senior Vice President of Catholic Healthcare West, on "Hospitals and Their Future in California" including an analysis of hospital profit and loss segments in terms of different types of insurance coverage and the potential impact of various alternatives for health care reform; and Chris McKenzie, Executive Director, League of California Cities, on the evolution and current state of funding sources for cities and localities.

The 2010 Keenan Summit was sponsored by the following companies: Platinum Sponsors - American Specialty Health, Anthem Blue Cross, Asset Works, Bay Actuarial Consultants, Express Scripts, Health Net, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare and Verify Solutions; Gold sponsors - Aetna, Blue Shield of California, Delta Dental, Johnson/Rooney/Welch, Keenan SafeSchools, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, Nurtur, Prudential, and VSP.

For information on Keenan insurance solutions, visit www.keenan.com.

About Keenan & Associates

Founded in 1972, Keenan is the 14th largest insurance brokerage firm in the United States and the largest independent broker in California. Keenan is dedicated to providing superior insurance products and services to schools, community colleges, municipalities and healthcare organizations for employee benefits, third-party claims administration, workers' compensation, integrated disability, risk management, and property and liability. Keenan has a network of offices located throughout California with a staff of more than 650 insurance specialists. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email [email protected], or visit www.keenan.com.

-- Eliminating errors by more effectively sharing data and best practices among hospitals could save 98,000 lives and at least $10 billion annually. -- Continued increases in health care costs will crowd out development in other sectors of the economy and hinder the country's global competitiveness. Changing the underlying incentive structure, currently a fee-for-service model, is fundamental to meaningful improvement. -- Participants in reform tend to be territorial. Need collaboration on solutions. Perfection is probably not possible, but meaningful change is. Evaluation of new technologies and information management are important. -- Reform has been discussed since Teddy Roosevelt. Current uncertainty of final package, if any, is making it very difficult to plan. Need to more aggressively promote wellness programs. Healthy people make for healthy economies. -- Programs like accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient safety collaboratives are showing strong results. -- Too much competition may result in reduced patient and institutional solvency protections due to risk selectivity. Focus should be on providing value and achieving best results.

SOURCE Keenan & Associates


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