AHIP 2018: Former President George W. Bush and best-selling author Atul Gawande highlight keynotes

George W. Bush
Atul Gawande and former President George W. Bush are among the general session speakers at this year's AHIP conference (Wikimedia/Public Domain).

A former president and a renowned surgeon and best-selling author are among the keynote speakers at this year's America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) annual conference.

A conversation with former President George W. Bush and a presentation by Atul Gawande anchors a lineup of keynote sessions grappling with the challenges and promises facing the healthcare industry in the immediate future. 

Here is a closer look at the general session offerings at the AHIP Institute and Expo 2018 in San Diego. 

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Wednesday, June 20

A Vision for the Future of Health Care (1:00 p.m.)

Matt Eyles AHIP
Matt Eyles (AHIP)

AHIP's new CEO Matt Eyles will set the forward-looking tone of the expo in the opening keynote on Wednesday.

It's Eyles first AHIP conference in the leadership position after replacing former AHIP CEO Marilyn Tavenner in March. Attendees will be eager to hear what the new CEO has to say about the direction of the association during a tumultuous period.

The Quest for Good Health: How Do We Reduce the Burden of Chronic Disease? (1:10 p.m.)

This panel discussion takes on one of the great challenges to improving health outcomes, an issue facing many insurers and providers making efforts to put a dent in high-cost conditions like diabetes and heart disease. 

Panelists include David B. Agus, M.D., professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering, Esteban López, M.D., chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Leana S. Wen, M.D., emergency physician, author and TED speaker.

Changing the Conversation About Aging (2:00 p.m.)

Jo Ann C. Jenkins, CEO of AARP, gets the ball rolling on a conference subtheme of care for the elderly.

Jenkins, who became AARP's CEO in 2014, has pushed the organization to foster new partnerships and looks to recalibrate the discussion around elderly care. 

Improving Health Care in America: A Prescription for Success (2:45 p.m.) 

One of the architects of the Affordable Care Act closes out the first day of general sessions with a macro view of the industry’s future. 

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., now with the Wharton School and the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, is outspoken and entertaining, so there's little doubt he'll have thoughts about the current political climate, regulatory changes emphasized by the Trump administration and some of the bigger trends impacting the industry. 

Thursday, June 21

Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande
(Amar Karodkar/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Reframing How We Think About End of Life Care (8:30 a.m.)

Renowned author and surgeon Atul Gawande, M.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School offers a deep dive into the discussion around end-of-life care.

Gawande’s 2014 book, Being Mortal, brought widespread attention to the topic of aging and began a conversation on reimagining models for end-of-life care.

An Exclusive Conversation with President George W. Bush (4:30 p.m.)

The 43rd President of the United States will sit down for a one-on-one Thursday afternoon in what is likely to be one of the most popular keynotes sessions. 

The healthcare industry has changed drastically since the younger Bush was in office, who once advocated for association health plans, state-based health insurance pools and signed the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which created Medicare Part D and expanded HSA contributions. 

Years later, it will be interesting to see where the former president lands on Trump-era policies. 

Friday, June 22

How to Fix Health Care: Lessons from Leaders on the Frontlines (8:15 a.m.)

Four healthcare executives will offer practical advice on positive transformation in the healthcare industry. 

Panelists include Kirsten Axelsen, vice president of strategy and new business assessment for Pfizer Innovative Health; David Hoke, senior director of associate health and wellbeing at Walmart; Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health; and Alan Warren, chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering at Oscar Insurance.

In Search of Health Care Simplicity (10:45 a.m.)

In the closing session, author and consultant Ian Morrison, M.A., Ph.D., offers his vision of a less complicated, more streamlined future for the industry.