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Business of Health Care: Program

Business of Health Care Workshop
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1-3 p.m.

Tapping the holy grail of hospital data

How profitable is your local hospital? How much charity care does it provide? Do doctors there implant a disproportionate number of cardiac stents?  Is the ER turning a high number of ambulances? This session will show you how to answer these questions and more. Using data from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), this session will be particularly useful for California journalists, but it also introduce data sets that journalists can request in other states. A working knowledge of Excel is necessary to get the full benefit of this session, but newcomers are welcome too. Bring your laptops—and your questions about your local hospitals.

• Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica
• Christina Jewett, health and welfare reporter, California Watch

3-3:30 p.m.

Afternoon break

3:30-5:30 p.m.

Using online tools for journalists to visualize data

Combine Google tools with health data to create online maps and charts you can tailor.  You’ll learn how, with a combination of a spreadsheet you upload, Google Fusion Tables and do some basic data formatting, to create a map you can use with your online project. With a little more work, you can create usable charts. To make the most of this session, make sure you have a Google account, then bring your laptop with spreadsheet software and a Web browser.

• Agustin Armendariz, investigative reporter, California Watch

FRIDAY, Oct. 28

8-9 a.m.

Breakfast buffet

9-10:15 a.m.

The effect of the economy and reform on health businesses

The fragile economy and President Obama’s health care overhaul are swiftly changing the financial landscape for health care businesses. Discussions in Washington about cutting programs such as Medicare only intensify the pressures. What will this mean for hospitals, physician groups, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and others with a stake in the health care industry? What steps are providers and payers taking to position themselves to survive amid escalating costs and a relentless push for collaboration? Three highly regarded speakers provide a road map for the coming months and years.

• Bart Asner, M.D., chief executive officer, Monarch HealthCare
• Michael D. Blaszyk, senior executive vice president, chief corporate officer and chief financial officer, Catholic Healthcare West
• Gerald F. Kominski, Ph.D., professor, health services, and associate director, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Moderator: Duke Helfand, health care reporter, Los Angeles Times 

10:30-11:45 a.m.

The insurance battles ahead

Regulating insurance rates is key to the success of health reform. But reconciling the needs of policyholders for lower premiums and the needs of insurance companies for higher premiums is difficult. This panel will explore how rate regulation works in the states and the political forces that determine what consumers ultimately pay for their coverage. This plenary will help reporters cover this challenging aspect of reform. 

• Tom Epstein, vice president, public affairs, Blue Shield of California
• Mila Kofman, associate research professor, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University
• Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner, health policy, California Department of Insurance
Moderator: Trudy Lieberman, contributing editor, Columbia Journalism Review

11:45 a.m.-1:20 p.m.

Lunch with futurist and author Ian MorrisonSpotlight speaker Ian Morrison

Morrison is an internationally known author, consultant, and futurist specializing in long-term forecasting and planning with particular emphasis on health care and the changing business environment.

He is the author of “Leading Change in Health Care: Building a Viable System for Today and Tomorrow” (AHA Press/Health Forum, 2011), and “Healthcare in the New Millennium: Vision, Values and Leadership” (Jossey-Bass, 2002). His previous book: “The Second Curve – Managing The Velocity of Change” (Ballantine, 1996) was a New York Times business bestseller and Businessweek bestseller.

Morrison is a founding partner in Strategic Health Perspectives, a forecasting service for clients in the health care industry, along with joint venture partners Harris Interactive and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. He is president emeritus of the Institute for the Future.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Medicare at a crossroads

A growing number of beneficiaries, rising health care costs and legislators intent on cutting the federal budget deficit combine to present challenges for the Medicare program. Will legislators raise the eligibility age, ask enrollees to pay more, slash doctor payments or make other changes? How will this affect enrollees, hospitals, insurers, doctors and others who rely on the program? We look at these issues and provide fodder for stories you can pursue.

• Bonnie Burns, training and policy specialist consultant, California Health Advocates
• Joel W. Hay, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical economics and policy, University of Southern California
Moderator: Julie Appleby, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News

The future of drug companies

Drug discovery is critical for the future of humanity. Yet it hasn’t been very successful lately. Two guests give their perspective on how to change that. McArthur Award winner Victoria Hale, a veteran of the FDA and Genentech, started the nation’s first nonprofit drug company and is now working on a brash expansion of that model. Daria Mochly-Rosen founded a pharmaceutical company and developed several compounds now in clinical trials. She also leads a university-wide effort of translational research at Stanford. They will focus on story ideas and on what reporters should look out for in covering the pharmaceutical industry over the next year.

• Victoria Hale, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Medicines360
• Daria Mochly-Rosen, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, Stanford University School of Medicine
Moderator: Karl Stark, health & science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Electronic medical records: Promised land or mirage?

 Electronic medical record systems have been touted for years as the way to fix health care. Proponents say electronic prescribing would warn against dangerous drug interactions and electronic access to patient medical information could reduce unnecessary procedures. States and the federal government are pursuing plans to link hospitals, doctors and patients electronically, dangling incentives for medical providers. But many physicians have been slow to adopt EMRs, citing concerns about price and compatibility. Meanwhile, privacy problems continue to surface with information breaches such as occurred at Stanford Hospital, where data for 20,000 emergency room patients was posted on a commercial Web site, including names and diagnosis codes.

Pamela Lane, vice president, health informatics, California Hospital Association
• Lee Tien, senior staff attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Moderator: Andy Miller, editor, Georgia Health News

Deciphering finances in local health care

The adage "follow the money" can be tough to do in health care. Many hospitals, clinics, medical groups and insurers are nonprofit or otherwise lacking in transparency. Find out from financial consultants who advise hospital and other health care entities where to look for available data, what stories are not being told and how to tell them.

• Walter C. Kopp, president, Medical Management Services
• Steve Rousso, M.B.A., M.P.A. principal, HFS Consultants
Moderator: Victoria Colliver, staff writer, San Francisco Chronicle

4-5 p.m.

Innovations in care and costs

Medical innovations might make investors money but they often cause headaches for doctors and nurses. New technology can be more expensive and complex, adding to the rising cost of health care and further complicating the delivery of care. But that’s starting to change as hospitals come under more pressure to improve health outcomes without adding to their bottom lines and venture capitalists are forced to take in account cost effectiveness when making investment decisions. In addition, many improvements in patient care come not from new fangled machines, but common sense innovations in care delivery. How do you get venture capitalists interested in innovations when there’s little money to be made?

• Dana Mead, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
• Arnold Milstein, M.D., M.P.H., director, Stanford Clinical Excellence Research Center
Moderator: Sarah Varney, health reporter, KQED