OMA Newsletter

Best Practice Newsletter - Fall 2012

Barnabas Health Holds Inaugural Health Care Policy Forum
Senator Menendez Delivers Keynote

More than 150 members of the business and health care community recently attended Barnabas Health’s health care policy forum – the first in a series of discussions featuring decision makers for state and federal policy issues – titled “Balancing the Financial Challenges Ahead: Health Care and the Business Climate,” at the Prudential Center’s Cure Club in Newark.

Barnabas Health’s policy forums are designed to provide an opportunity for leaders in the health care and business communities to engage in discussion about key business and health care issues and their impact. The inaugural forum attracted a diverse audience, including northern New Jersey health care providers, presidents and CEOs of the state’s health care trade associations and businesses in the greater Newark area, representatives from the city’s higher education and civic communities, as well as those interested in economic development.

Moderated by Michellene Davis, Esq., Senior Vice President of Policy Development and Governmental Affairs at Barnabas Health, the forum featured remarks by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez as the keynote speaker, along with panelists Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., MD (D-7), Senator Robert Gordon (D-38), Assemblywoman Alison Littel McHose (R-24) and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-21), followed by a Q&A session.

Barnabas Health’s President and Chief Executive Officer Barry H. Ostrowsky welcomed attendees and stated that the System’s responsibility extended beyond rendering health care services, conveying Barnabas Health’s commitment to raising the level of meaningful discussion with the business community regarding access to and affordability of health care through vehicles like the forum. He introduced U.S. Senator Bob Menendez as “the most knowledgeable individual in the policy-making role of being a member of the Senate Finance Committee when it comes to health care who understands the challenges health care systems and consumers face.” Sen. Menendez credited Barnabas Health for its national recognition and exceptional services. He addressed the importance of treating health care as part of the overall economic strategy and making sure that quality health care is accessible in America, and he highlighted the “significance of continuing the work of implementing the Affordable Care Act so we can fully realize the benefits and move forward to lower costs and improved care.” He also covered key health care issues affecting New Jersey, including the negative effects of ongoing Medicaid expansion, the importance of protecting the Wage Index Rural Floor and the national debate
about Medicaid Block Granting, as well as, the need to evaluate options to manage costs and confront challenges, “some of which can be met with a private-public partnership.”

These forums provide an opportunity for audience members to hear first-hand the thoughts of decision makers on policy issues that will impact Barnabas Health – and health care in general – as reform progresses.

Anthony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Barnabas Health, updated attendees on New Jersey’s Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), aimed at aligning traditional health care by connecting regional doctors in group practices with hospitals providing similar services. Dr. Slonim described ACO’s as the “value proposition in health care ... an approach for helping hospitals and doctors work more cooperatively in administering quality patient care while reducing health care costs.”

As a leading health care provider for the state of New Jersey, Barnabas Health has designed these forums as a means to educate the public on policy issues affecting health care at both the state and federal levels.

Sen. Bob Menendez was the keynote speaker at the Barnabas Health’s recent health care policy forum – the first in a series designed to provide an opportunity for leaders in the health care and business communities to engage in discussion about key business and health care issues.