Market Consolidation: The Impact on the Payer and Provider
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis revealed there were 255 healthcare merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in Q2 of 2018. Kaufman Hall reported that there were 13 percent more healthcare mergers in 2017 than in the previous year. There is little debate that the M&A trend will continue. Or that consolidation can have a number of negative impacts on the healthcare industry. It can mean less competition and increased bargaining power for health systems. Higher procedure payment demands mean higher costs to patients. Access to care usually goes down not up. But can M&A also lead to more efficient administration of healthcare, improved treatment and clinical outcomes, and healthcare organizations better able to compete in an era moving from volume to value? Roundtable One will provide a full-picture discussion.

The Opioid Epidemic and Alternative Treatment
The National Institutes of Health has stated that “The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.” Congress has responded with legislation and appropriations to address the epidemic. But most of the focus is on curbing illicit supplies of opiates, researching and developing non-addictive pain medication, public education and Medication-assisted Therapy versus alternative approaches. Other health policy leaders are calling for a greater reliance on natural pain remedies – massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care, mindfulness and meditation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and non-opioid medications – to treat pain and help prevent addiction in the first place. What’s the best approach? Roundtable Two will discuss and debate that answer.

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