Dr Jan Berger Previews Topics Stakeholders Will Hear at MBGH Meeting

When 40th Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) Annual Conference meets this week, stakeholder groups will tackle issues within population health and precision medicine, and discuss the influence of employers on these discussions.

When the 40th Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) Annual Conference meets this week, it will be interesting to hear how different stakeholder groups plan to collaborate and communicate together to tackle issues within population health and precision medicine, as well as discuss what influence employers have on these discussions, said Jan Berger, MD, MJ, president and CEO of Health Intelligence Partners, who also serves on the editorial board for AJMC®.


AJMC®: Hello, I'm Matthew Gavidia. Today on the MJH Life Sciences’ Medical World News, The American Journal of Managed Care® is pleased to welcome Dr Jan Berger, president and chief executive officer of Health Intelligence Partners, who also serves on the editorial board for AJMC®.

At this year’s 40th Midwest Business Group on Health Annual Conference, you will be moderating a session where stakeholders will provide stories and solutions on waste and excess cost in health care. Can you speak on any perspectives you are especially interested in learning more on, and any strategies you can share on this topic?

Dr Berger: I think there's a couple. I think that the topics that I am helping in moderating and will set the stage with is not only–I'm going to be interested in hearing how my professional peers, who are in different stakeholder groups within health care, not only talk about their own stakeholder group, but how they're going to work together to address some of these issues of population health to precision medicine, to pricing the consumer out and collaborating and communicating and not just doing a land grab.

So, I really do think it's going to be important to hear how it comes together as a puzzle. Many of us did puzzles during COVID, and unless you had all the pieces the picture was not complete. I also am hoping that the further conversation across all the talks at this year's meeting is number 1, how are we going to regain trust of each other? And the solution?

Number 2, how are employers going to take back the control? It's something I have talked about for a number of years as I've spoken at MBGH’s annual meeting. At the end of the day, the employers cannot concede action and decision making to others because it's their dollar, it's the employee’s dollar, and it's really the future of their companies. So, I'm really hoping we see

how they step up and how they start to put all the pieces of the puzzle together so we get a complete picture in health and in health care in this country.

AJMC®: What are some other sessions at this year’s MBGH Annual Conference you are interested in?

Dr Berger: So, there's a couple of them. On Friday, there's a precision medicine topic. I'll be interested in how they look at it. So many people look at precision medicine as I have stated before in the oncology space only; but precision medicine really is–you and I want to be seen as an individual. There is no such thing as average when it comes to people, we are each individuals. We now have the ability to look at health and health care through that lens. So, I'll be interested in that.

Another 1 will be the transition of hospitals to a transparency model. We know that the government has talked about it. We know that hospitals and the AMA have pushed back against it. I want to hear what has to be said around transparency as a whole. We know that transparency in rebates and drugs is also an issue. So, how does this cost transparency come into play? You cannot ask individuals to be true consumers unless you give us the information and the ability to make the decision on that.

I think the third I will be really interested in hearing is Elizabeth Rosenthal's keynote the first day, because she talks about disruption, she talks about consolidation, she talks about cost, and I want to hear how she puts that together because consolidation has never been proven to lower costs in any industry. I'm wondering how she sees it when it comes to the health care industry.

AJMC®: Lastly, do you have any other concluding thoughts?

Dr Berger: It’s challenging at a time–virtual works. You and I are having a conversation today around virtual, but the true meaning of the networking and the individual conversations so that we can start to trust each other again and have hard conversations. Hard conversations don't work well over Zoom. They just don't, and we need to continue to have the hard conversations.

So, I really look forward to the 2021 conference when we're all back in person and can start to have these hard conversations come back together and start to build the trust bridge.

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