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State Policy Seminar: Levers to Address Health Costs

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This invitational meeting—hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), with support from Arnold Ventures and the Commonwealth Fund—brings together state legislators to learn about addressing health care costs. The meeting will feature national experts and state respondents who will discuss state policy levers related to market competition and prices, prescription drug costs, health insurance affordability and Medicaid.

June 6
Time Sessions

8-8:30 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast Buffet

8:30-9 a.m.

Opening Remarks and Introductions

9-9:30 a.m.

U.S. Health Care Costs: Trends, Drivers and State Actions
This session will provide an overview of health care costs and spending trends, key drivers of health care costs, and the landscape of state policy options to address health care costs and prices in the U.S., including policy options of focus for this meeting.

Moderator: Kelly Hughes

Speaker: Julianne McGarry, Catalyst for Payment Reform Powerpoint | PDF file-18 pages

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Assessing Provider Consolidation and Effects on Prices
Many studies have pointed to provider consolidation leading to higher health care prices. And with a breadth of research identifying prices as the primary driver of growing costs, state policymakers are assessing their options to improve provider consolidation oversight. This session will look at state policy options related to hospital mergers and acquisitions, as well as actions to bolster competition in highly concentrated markets.

Moderator: Jack Pitsor, NCSL

Speakers: Erin Fuse Brown, JD, Georgia State College of Law | Powerpoint | PDF file-19 pages

State Respondents: Senator Ed Charbonneau, Indiana
Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, Nevada

10:45-11 a.m.


11-12:15 p.m.

Market Impact of Generic and Biosimilar Drugs
As brand name drug patents expire, generic and biosimilar products can enter the market with the potential to reduce payers’ costs. During this session, attendees will learn how generics and biosimilars come to market, as well as promising state strategies to promote competition.

Moderator: Colleen Becker, NCSL

Speakers: Dr. Mariana Socal, Johns Hopkins | Powerpoint | PDF file-28 pages
Chad Pettit, Amgen

State Respondents: Representative Eileen Cody, Washington
Senator Judy Lee, North Dakota

12:15-1:15 p.m.


1:15-2:30 p.m.

Health Insurance Reforms and Affordability
State governments can play an important role in ensuring affordability of insurance coverage, including limiting cost-sharing amounts, controlling premiums and reducing surprise medical bills. This session will provide an overview of state roles in health plan regulation and coverage initiatives addressing individual and small group marketplaces, rate reviews, public option programs and surprise billing.

Moderator: Samantha Scotti, NCSL

Speaker: Joel Ario, Manatt Powerpoint | PDF file-29 pages

2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-4 p.m.

Medicaid: Behavioral Health and Value-Based Payments
With state officials continually looking for ways to control Medicaid spending and improve health outcomes, some states are shifting to value-based payment models that incentivize high-quality, cost-effective services. This session will include an overview of Medicaid behavioral health value-based payments from a national expert, as well as a deeper dive into state successes and challenges.

Moderator: Emily Blanford, NCSL

Speakers: Rob Houston, Center for Health Care Strategies Powerpoint | PDF file-10 pages
Sheamekah Williams, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services | Powerpoint | PDF file-40 pages
Patrick Gordon, Rocky Mountain Health Plans | Powerpoint | PDF file-18 pages

4-4:30 p.m. Wrapup, Evaluations, Adjourn
5 p.m.

Health and Human Services Chairs Meeting Kick-Off Reception

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