P R O C E E D I N G S
Introduction, Opening Remarks
Id like to welcome you to HSCs third and final conference of the year entitled
"Defining Defined Contributions." In this meeting were attempting to get a
better sense of whether defined contributions represents a future direction
for employer-sponsored health benefits. We see this meeting of interest to benefits
managers, to unions, to health plans, and to public policymakers.
Whatever changes are made will reverberate
through the health care system and affect the consumers that it serves.
In June, at our annual "Wall Street
Comes to Washington Meeting," I asked the analysts about what they had been
reading in the trade press, and they characterized defined contributions as
a key emerging trend and helped us make the decision to have this meeting. And
in our site visits, weve been asking benefits consultants about this and have
been told that its very much on the minds of employers, but that few concrete
steps have been taken or even planned at this point.
In todays program were going to better
define the various approaches that come under this category "defined contributions."
Were going to examine in-depth their feasibility, and were going to discuss
the implications for consumers and for policy.
Let me provide an update on the center.
Were currently collecting the third round of data from the Community Tracking
Study. As you know, the Community Tracking Study involves biennial surveys of
households, employers, and physicians in 60 communities across the United States,
as well as site visits to 12 of these communities. The CTS is focused on identifying
major changes in the nations health system and analyzing the effects of such
changes on individuals.
In February, we began releasing trend
information from the first two rounds of the surveys and will be releasing many
more such studies in the coming months. Next month, reports that chronicle changes
from the intensive study sites will be released.
To keep on top of these studies, Id
like to suggest that you register on our web site to receive e-mail alerts about
these topics as they come out.
Let me close by saying that this year
is the fifth anniversary of HSC, and I want to take a moment to thank the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation for their continued support of HSC and also to acknowledge
the contributions of Mathematica Policy Research, which whom we are affiliated.
Let me introduce the speakers. Our
first speaker is Sally Trude, and she will be followed by two separate panels.
Sally Trude is a senior researcher at HSC who previously worked at MedPAC and
Rand, and shes the lead author of the defined contributions Issue Brief which
we are releasing today and which is in all of your packets.
Sally will start us off by presenting
a framework that characterizes the various defined contribution approaches and
which will help organize our discussions throughout the day.
The first panel consists of three Internet
entrepreneurs with distinct products that seek in various ways to support a
movement to defined contributions. The panelists include Ray Herschman, who
is CEO and founder of HealthSync, and previously held numerous senior positions
at University Hospitals Health System of Cleveland and its QualChoice health
plan; Dr. Lee Newcomer, who is executive vice president and chief medical officer
of Vivius and held numerous senior positions at United HealthCare; and, finally,
Steve Wiggins, who is chairman and CEO of HealthMarket, and who was previously
the founder and CEO of Oxford Health Plans.
Jon Christianson from the University
of Minnesota will moderate this panel. John is a widely published economist
who has worked extensively with HSC on its site visits going back to round one.
The second panel includes an employer,
a union representative, two health benefits consultants who have large employer
clients, and Sally Trude.
In the order in which they are sitting--I
hope they are sitting, right?--Larry Atkins is the founder and president of
Health Policy Analysts, where he advises Fortunate 100 companies, among other
clients; David Blitzstein is the director of the Negotiated Benefits Department
at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; Helen Darling
is a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt & Company, where she assists purchasers
with their health care and group benefits decisions; and Pam Krol is director
of Health Programs and Benefits Administration for Lucent Technologies, where
she is responsible for health care policy, strategy, administration, and performance
Looking at the agenda, well begin
with Sally Trude giving a 15-minute overview of defined contributions, and this
will be followed by the Internet panel. Each of these participants will provide
a short description of their product and how it relates to defined contributions.
Then Jon Christianson will ask follow-up questions. Then we will have questions
from the floor. Then well take a break, and the second panel I will moderate.
This will be no presentations but just discussion, and then well have a second
opportunity for questions and answers from the audience after this panel discussion.
Let me turn it over to Sally Trude.
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