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Fifth Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington:
Market Watchers Evaluate the Health Care System
Norman M. Fidel
Roberta Walter Goodman
Joy M. Grossman
Geoffrey E. Harris
Samuel W. Murphy III
Paul B. Ginsburg
he fifth annual "Wall Street Comes to Washington" roundtable, hosted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), promises to provide both data and perspectives on recent and emerging health care trends. As with past Wall Street conferences, HSC is bringing together leading analysts who have a thorough understanding of the market conditions that affect the companies they follow. To understand the prospects of these companies, such analysts monitor strategies of their client companies suppliers, customers and competitors as well as advances in technology, consumer preferences and implementation of federal and state policies.
In addition to their broad expertise, the panelists bring detailed knowledge and insight into a range of health care sectors, including managed care, pharmaceuticals, hospitals and information technology. Analysts will also speak to Wall Streets assessment of existing and potential regulatory actions, including a patients bill of rights, a Medicare drug benefit, the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) and medical privacy. Broad trends in health care-for example, the possible turning of the underwriting cycle and the outlook for premiums-will also be discussed.
HSC president Paul Ginsburg will moderate the discussion among the panelists. Joy Grossman, HSC associate director, will offer examples from HSC research to support or refute analysts views. The roundtable will be followed by a brief summary of the panelists remarks and a question-and-answer period.
What Can You Expect to Learn from This Conference?
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about market trends that shape the decisions of health care leaders. You will hear what experts with access to up-to-date financial and market data and a wide range of industry contacts are predicting for various health care sectors. Analysts will share their views on the potential effects of proposed regulation. HSC will then open the floor to questions. The overall result will be a better understanding of the health care system and the forces that shape it inside and outside of Washington.
Topics to Be Covered Include:
Managed Care. Do actions by United Healthcare and others signal a trend toward a kinder, gentler managed care? Are recent class action lawsuits affecting plan behavior? How much will plan premiums rise in 2001, and what is driving these increases? Are insurers or consumers seeing benefits from plan consolidations, and what lessons, if any, can be drawn from these experiences?
Pharmaceuticals. What is the driving force behind the increases in drug prices, and how are employers responding? What new drugs are in the pipeline, and how will their approval affect prices, consumers and the industry at large? Who would be the industry winners and losers under different policy scenarios: a government price-setting environment versus a competitive one with more modest policy intervention?
Providers. Are hospitals and doctors gaining ground vis-a-vis plans, why or why not? How are hospitals doing financially, and what have been the relative roles of the BBA and managed care contracting? What are hospitals facing financial challenges doing in response to these pressures? Is the medical errors focus changing provider behavior, and, if so, how?
Information Technology. How are the Internet and web-based technologies currently being used in the health care industry? What is the future for business-to-business e-commerce? What are the challenges to creating e-health infrastructures that support insurer-provider and provider-consumer interactions? Will the local nature of health care evolve with more reliance on the Internet? How concerned are providers about the costs of privacy guidelines?