Update on the Nation's Health Care System:

Results From Tracking 12 Communities, 1997-1999

Conference Transcript
November 16, 1999

"All politics is local," House Speaker Tip O'Neill used to say. The same might be said about health care.

hile we commonly refer to an "American health system," closer inspection reveals much variety in the way this country finances, organizes and delivers medicine from city to city and state to state. The nature of local institutions and relationships plays a pivotal role in determining the character of each community's health care system, although national policies, economic trends and technology clearly also have an influence.

This conference will provide insight into key trends discerned from studying local health systems across the country, based on 12 communities that Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) researchers have visited recently and are tracking intensively over time. Presenters will provide an overview of the major changes observed across markets over the past two years and an in-depth examination of two topics of particular interest-the strategies of specialty physicians and the changing nature of Blue Cross-Blue Shield plans.

Conference Topics:

The conference is organized in three major parts, each of which includes a presentation of research results followed by commentary and perspective by an expert practitioner. Each part of the conference will have ample time for audience Q&A.; At the end of the conference, Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, will moderate a discussion among the experts that includes reflection on the implications of the changes and trends presented as well as commentary on what the future may hold for the American health system.

Who Should Attend: