Healthcare Leaders Gather at MDS Consulting’s Leadership Conference to Discuss the Implications and Future of Healthcare Reform

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Prominent healthcare attorney Bruce Merlin Fried has told a gathering of more than 120 healthcare leaders that “change is in the wind” as the industry works to devise innovative approaches, creative models and new strategies that will drive higher quality and greater value. Fried made his remarks at ’s 7 annual leadership conference in Las Vegas.

Providing an “insider’s view of ,” Fried particularly pointed to accountable care organizations (ACOs), health insurance exchanges, and the current budget crisis as some of the key factors driving healthcare reform and innovation. He also cited a host of Medicare issues – including the future of Medicare Advantage special needs plans, changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies, and the dual-demonstration project (intended to coordinate and improve care for individuals who are both Medicare and Medicaid eligible) – as critical challenges that America must tackle in order to get the healthcare system working more efficiently.

Fried was one of more than a dozen prominent speakers who addressed an audience of hospital executives, physician leaders, healthcare attorneys and industry executives from finance, nursing and business development. Other speakers included Bill Gil, president and CEO of Facey Medical Foundation; Marc Bennett, president and CEO of HealthInsight; Douglas Allen, M.D., chief medical officer of Optum Health Collaborative Care; Jeff Koury, senior vice president of operations for Tenet Healthcare’s California region; and Megan North, CEO of Conifer Cap Management Systems.

The conference also featured a unique gathering of leaders in the development and structure of : Jonathon Gluck, senior executive and general counsel of Heritage Provider Network; Chuck Lehn, chief executive officer of Banner Health Network; Michael Murphy, president and chief executive officer of Sharp Healthcare; and Karim Kaissi, corporate director of project management, and Natalie Wilkins, director of ACO operations, of Texas Health Resources. ACOs are a new payment and delivery model that is designed to improve care while reducing healthcare costs. Currently, there are 121 Medicare ACOs and 32 Pioneer ACOs operating in 40 states, involving 2.4 million Medicare beneficiaries.

“As with prior years this conference provided a great opportunity for high-level healthcare executives to exchange ideas, hear from industry experts, and continue to develop sensible strategies that will help them succeed,” said Phil Dalton, president and CEO of MDS Consulting. “The uncertainty in the evolution of healthcare reform is causing hospitals, physicians and health plan leaders to face unprecedented challenges in charting the future direction of their organizations. Our goal was to help provide the information and tools attendees need in such a dynamic and changing marketplace.”

Dalton said that plans are already underway for MDS’ 8 annual leadership conference, to be held September 22-24, 2013, at the Encore Hotel.

MDS Consulting is a national healthcare consulting firm that helps hospitals, medical groups, health systems and other healthcare organizations achieve their goals for development, growth and profitability. The MDS team of executive-level professionals provides individualized solutions and creative insights in such areas as physician/hospital alignment, medical group management, health reform/accountable care, financial assessments, hospital/healthcare planning and implementation, and regulatory compliance. Further information may be obtained at .