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AHIP 2023: Taking on the top issues in health care

Medicare Advantage, Medicaid redeterminations and affordability are among the issues stakeholders are discussing at this week's AHIP 2023 conference, according to AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles.

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AHIP 2023, June 13-15 in Portland, Ore., will include close to 75 sessions paneled by thought leaders and other stakeholders to dissect and discuss the most important issues in health care today, including health care affordability, the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency and Medicaid redeterminations. SmartBrief recently spoke with AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles to hear more details about the annual conference and what attendees can expect to learn at — and take away from — the gathering.

AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles
AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles

Our team is looking forward to the conference! What’s new or different on the agenda this year?

AHIP 2023 continues our tradition of bringing together the people, ideas and solutions affecting our evolving health care landscape. This three-day conference is jam-packed with nearly 75 sessions featuring more than 150 private- and public-sector thought leaders, innovators and policymakers sharing the latest ideas and solutions. And, with an exhibit hall featuring more than 150 exhibitors and solutions providers, AHIP 2023 will introduce attendees to the ideas, people and partners that will put them on the fast track to success.

AHIP’s annual conference always tackles the most pressing issues of the moment in health care. What are those issues right now?

Now that the COVID-19 public health emergency is over, states are in the middle of determining the Medicaid eligibility of millions of Americans. This is an unprecedented and enormous undertaking.

As many as 18 million Americans could end up losing their Medicaid coverage as a result of the process, according to a recent analysis — and almost 4 million Americans could become uninsured. That’s why AHIP has developed a Medicaid Redeterminations Toolkit to ensure Medicaid stays strong and can serve those who need it most while helping people identify other coverage options, especially through employer coverage and the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

We also remain laser-focused on keeping Medicare Advantage strong for the more than 31 million older Americans and people with disabilities who choose it. MA delivers lower costs, more choices and better value than original Medicare, and we need to protect it.

Enrollees in MA are more racially and ethnically diverse than those in original Medicare, and MA has also been a tremendous benefit for dual-eligible Americans, who are often the most vulnerable patients. MA plans also provide better and more coordinated care, more comprehensive benefits and better outcomes.

MA has long been an example of a strong public-private partnership. We remain committed to working with the administration, Congress and other policymakers to build on this strong track record of success and improve on what’s working in MA.

And finally, we continue to address affordability — the No. 1 health care issue identified by people. Health care prices and costs continue to escalate year after year, putting even greater pressure on businesses, patients and taxpayers — making coverage and care less accessible for everyone.

This challenge can be tied directly to less competitive health care markets, and it calls for a comprehensive effort to spur robust competition. That’s why AHIP and our member organizations launched our Healthier People Through Healthier Markets Initiative. This roadmap outlines real solutions that will provide more Americans with more health care choices and better quality care at lower costs.

How do you hope to see this week’s conference contribute to progress on some of these issues?

We’ve put together a conference that offers learning and networking experiences that are relevant to attendees and the work that they do. We have sessions focusing on reducing health care costs through value-based care, leveraging AI and addressing health equity. We’re providing an update on Medicaid redeterminations and what it means for the more than 94 million Americans who are enrolled in this vital program — as well as the Medicaid managed care organizations that serve them. And we’re focused on MA and how to strengthen and improve it — not just for today, but also for tomorrow.

We know there’s a lot of work to do to ensure that health coverage remains strong for every American. That’s what makes AHIP 2023 so important. It’s the right mix of educational sessions, Q&As, meaningful networking, exhibit hall time and downtime with colleagues from coast to coast to help move the needle on access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality coverage and care for everyone.

What do you hope attendees take away from AHIP 2023 when they return to their work and teams next week?

I’d like to see attendees take away an experience — one of learning, networking and reconnecting as we move into a post-pandemic world. Most importantly, I want attendees to take home ideas and solutions they can immediately put into action to help move their organizations forward in the mission of guiding greater health.

What can you share about the process for building an agenda for an event like this? When does the work start, and how do you decide what gets priority?

Health care is continually evolving, and so too are the critical issues that we debate and discuss as part of our conferences. When we develop our agenda, we have to think about the diverse audience in attendance as well as the issues that matter to the patients and communities they serve. So, the process of building an agenda is a balancing act of sorts — we know there are issues that we continually address, but we have to be nimble enough to adjust to the topics of the day.

It’s a little early in the week to be planning for our next AHIP event, but we have to ask: Where are we headed next year?

We are headed back to Las Vegas for 2024 and returning to the Wynn.