National Alliance Leadership Summits to Spotlight Thought Leaders in Health Care and Benefits


Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, gave insight into the themes of the upcoming National Alliance Leadership Summits.

Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, gave insight into the themes of the upcoming National Alliance Leadership Summits.

The 2-day event taking place from June 28-29 in Nashville, TN, will focus on 3 concepts, each with a dedicated half-day summit: Surviving to Thriving, Architecting for Value, and Innovation and Integration.


Can you discuss the first theme of the upcoming National Alliance Leadership Summits, "Surviving to Thriving"?

We established the Leadership Summits as essentially 3 half-day conferences, with the first one being "Surviving to Thriving." Coming out of the pandemic or the or the public health emergency, it's clear that employers are feeling higher expectations from employees and their families. And the focus now is really escalating that agenda around helping their employees to thrive.

People are putting more emphasis on improving their lives and creating more balance moving forward. How are employers reacting to that? How are they engaging? How are they setting themselves up?

We are engaging employers and other thought leaders in this space and increasingly helping employers to think about not just all employees but different employees and how they need to respond to differences within their population. This will be a leading conversation and a timely conversation for employers and in other stakeholders in understanding this.

What can attendees expect from presentations around the second theme, "Architecting for Value"?

There have been amazing changes over the past few years that have elevated the concerns around how health care is provided, how pricing is occurring, how middlemen are exercising undue control and, in many instances, self-dealing with plan sponsor assets. These are issues that I think we need to get our handle on.

The whole approach of consumerism—you know, having employees have information and have an incentive to take actions on their own behalf as health care consumers—that's been the mantra for 20 years now. But, frankly, I think it's run its course. And I think we're pivoting at a critical time. We're going to talk about value-based design, we're going to talk about issues like hospital pricing and policy issues to elevate and improve the competitiveness of the market, we're going to talk about PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] and the issues that they're creating.

It's going to be a very rich discussion going deep into issues that are critical to plan sponsors and important in their role as plan fiduciaries.

Can you discuss the final theme, "Innovation & Integration"?

A lot of the innovation in the benefits area has come from multiple point solutions that have focused on specific issues. And, frankly, there's been a lot of value in those point solutions, but employers are also concerned about creating a holistic experience for employees and dealing with employees holistically—whole-person health. We're going to explore the issues of how to navigate and take advantage of emerging innovation, but to do so in a way that is holistic and in an integrated manner.

And we've got some great speakers on this from the employer perspective, the innovator perspective, and frankly, some of the other stakeholders who are contributing to thought leadership in creating a whole-person health environment for employees and their families.

What can attendees expect to take away from the 2023 Leadership Summits as a whole?

What's unique about our summits is the culture that people experience when they come and join us. It's a very open atmosphere—you're talking to a lot of thought leaders, people who are anxious to lead change in the industry, and who, themselves, are influencers across the country.

We have a lot of employers, we have a lot of coalitions, and a lot of stakeholders, and we try to set an agenda that is forward-looking: one that is establishing what the conversation is going to be over the next several years to move the agenda forward. That, I think, is what you can expect. And the good news is people are very open to talking to you and hearing what you have to say and your contribution to that conversation, as well.

So I think, uniquely, ours is a purchaser-focused and a purchaser-led agenda. But at the end of the day, those purchasers at are at the front of the supply chain and they're going to influence change throughout the industry, and so we really encourage everybody to attend and participate in our summits.

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