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Noted Economist Leads Lively Discussion on Health Care Reform

Albany, NY (PRWEB) November 21, 2013

Health care economist Uwe E. Reinhardt, Ph.D. told a packed house at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center that there are plenty of challenges when it comes to reforming health care in the U.S., but there are also tremendous opportunities.

“The burden is on the states and communities,” Reinhardt said, noting that “New York is far more progressive” when it comes to health care reform.

Reinhardt was the keynote speaker at “Health Care in the 21st Century: A Community Call to Action,” a public forum presented by CDPHP® and the UAlbany School of Public Health.

The event, which was the second in a series on health care reform, also featured a panel discussion with Dr. Reinhardt; Dr. John D. Bennett, president and CEO, CDPHP; Paula A. Stopera, president and CEO, CAP COM Federal Credit Union; and Dennis P. Whalen, president, Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS). The panel was moderated by Philip C. Nasca, Ph.D., dean, University at Albany School of Public Health.

Reinhardt, a professor of economics at Princeton University, detailed the history of health care costs in the U.S. and offered up his take on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“To say Obamacare is a failure is wrong. There are a lot of parts (of the ACA) that are working,” he said, referring to the botched rollout of the federal health care marketplace. He also pointed out that in New York, it is working.

The panel discussion covered a variety of topics, including payment reform, coordination of care, quality improvement, and the role of employers and hospitals when it comes to reducing cost and waste.

“We have to work with providers to reduce waste,” Bennett said, stressing the importance of payment reform. “We must move off the fee-for-service model.”

Whalen agreed, saying, “If Obamacare failed, we would still have the same discussion of quality and care.”

Stopera, representing a voice outside of the health care realm, said employers are now paying attention to rising health care costs. Incentives, such as paying for gym memberships, helps employees take control of their health and can lead to lower costs of care, she said.

About CDPHP®
Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 24 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About The University at Albany School of Public Health
The School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and offers a research-oriented opportunity for faculty, and a valuable professional experience for students. The school is a partnership between the NYS Department of Health and the University at Albany. The school is also affiliated with Albany Medical Center and Bassett Healthcare.

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