One year after President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last March, Yale hosted a conference Friday to discuss the post-reform landscape of the health care industry.
Jointly organized by the Yale School of Management, School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, the Yale Healthcare 2011 conference, which is in its seventh year, brought together professionals from different sectors of the health care industry to examine challenges brought about by the reform and their possible solutions. About 380 industry professionals, Yale alumni, current faculty and students attended the event at the Omni New Haven Hotel, which featured speakers from the investment banking, insurance, political, pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
“We thought it would be fitting this year to talk about how the various players in the health care system are now finding ways to implement the bill and work with the new regulations in a successful manner,” conference co-chair Hiromi Yoshida ’06 MED ’11 SOM ’11 said.
Anchoring the event were keynote addresses delivered by President of the Milbank Memorial Fund Carmen Odom and Louis Sullivan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The key to improving the health of the nation, Sullivan said, lies in changing unhealthy behaviors and attitudes.
“With a culture of treating sickness and not around wellness, we will never succeed in bringing health care under control,” he said.
Describing the executive panel as “Charlie Rose with an edge,” Blackstone Group’s Chief Executive Officer of Equity Healthcare Bob Galvin moderated the point-counterpoint on the controversial topic of the role of capital in the healthcare system.
Throughout the day, participants were divided into smaller breakout groups on topics spanning from health care investment to biotechnology to the constitutionality of reform.
Mark Borton of Equity Health Partners, LLC said the interactive nature of these breakout sessions was one of the highlights of the event. Sean O’Hearen of stickK.com, a successful goal-setting website started by a Yale alumnus and two Yale professors, agreed.
“The breakout sessions were particularly great because the small group size enabled a lot of discussion with diverse of attitudes from across the health care spectrum,” he said.
While many participants were well-established industry individuals, some came to the event with the objective of learning more about the industry.
Currently completing graduate studies at Rutgers University, Dan Stone ’00 said he attended the conference to gain further insight into the health care industry and potential job prospects.
Non-medical industry professionals in attendance also found the conference useful. Recruited to work in investment banking after graduation, Kim So ’11 attended in order to build a firmer understanding of the complexities of health care reform.
“I felt as though I did not understand the health care reform, or its ramifications, as thoroughly as I wanted to, and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get answers from experts in the field,” she said.
Yale Healthcare is set to take place next year on April 13, 2012 at the Omni Hotel.