The Future of Healthcare Reform

Pre-conference session tackled controversial topic of healthcare reform.

The Affordable Care Act has been the subject of controversy since it passed last year. It is no surprise that healthcare reform was a subject of much discussion at AMCP’s 23rd Annual Meeting Showcase in Minneapolis, Minnesota, held April 27-29, 2011.

This was never more evident than at the pre-conference program, entitled “Health Care Reform: Forecasting the Future,” presented by Riaz Ali and Jennifer Kowalski, industry professionals from Avalere Health.

Divided into two sections, this enlightening session touched on topics such as insurance reform, Medicare Part D, payment and delivery reform, and comparative effectiveness research. Of particular interest to the speakers was the issue of Medicaid pharmacy benefits. After much discussion, areas of uncertainty still remain around this matter. For instance:

  • What clarification will Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services offer regarding the revised definition of average manufacturer price?
  • What other metrics will payers use for reimbursement?
  • Will state Medicaid programs find average acquisition costs to be an appropriate mechanism to reimburse pharmacies?

The session concluded by providing recommendations for successfully moving forward, which included uniting government, public and private entities, and consumers as collaborators. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the importance of maintaining focus on the specific mechanisms established in reform legislation (for example, the structure of an accountable care organization, quality measurement, and the establishment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute).

For further information on this session: www.amcp.org.