Healthcare Summit invites region to come learn

by Abbie Bennett

Employers and individuals who have questions or need help navigating the Affordable Care Act should consider attending the 2012 Charlotte Chamber’s Healthcare Summit on Aug. 3.

“We will have a half-day event with business leaders and health-care industry experts who will discuss the Affordable Care Act and its impact on employers, innovative health-care initiatives and ways to control costs,” Zapata Lourdes, director of public policy at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, said.

According to a chamber news release, attendees will learn first-hand how effective partnerships are controlling health costs, hear about innovative initiatives implemented in health care and what future economic development opportunities might look like.

Lourdes said anyone interested should attend.

“Members and non-members who have an interest in health-care policy and initiatives, including health-care businesses as well as others and employers who need assistance in navigating the Affordable Care Act,” may want to come, she said.

Lourdes said the mission of the summit is to educate people about the act, especially with all the discussion about the program recently.

“We will facilitate an open dialogue about the act and how it affects employers,” she said. “We will inform the audience of initiatives that might be beneficial for an employer in controlling the cost of health care for their employees. We hope the audience leaves with knowledge that can be applied to their firms.”

The summit is funded through sponsorships and attendee registration fees, Lourdes said, and will have a special focus on answering questions and suggesting solutions to problems the Affordable Care Act might present to businesses.

“Health care is an important issue for employers and a significant cost of doing business,” Lourdes said. “People should attend to gain first-hand insight into innovative partnerships that are being used to control costs, upcoming deadlines as a result of the Affordable Care Act and to have a general overview of current happenings in the industry.”

Lourdes said she hopes attendees will make use of the information provided.

“We expect businesses will explore some of the ideas we present as solutions in their own workplace,” she said.

The summit will host more than 250 attendees on Aug. 3, a Friday. Registration, a breakfast buffet and networking begin at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program from 8 a.m. to noon at The Westin Charlotte. Price is $50 in advance or $65 at the door for members and non-members.

Confirmed speakers include:
• Harry Reynolds, director of health industry transformation at IBM

• Leslie Bays, controller at Ballantyne Country Club

• Tim Bickmore, associate professor of computer and information sciences at Northeastern University

• Brian Caveney, medical director at Blue Cross Blue Shield

• Nancy Fey-Yensan, a dean at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

• Jason Harwell, director of health information at Biz Technology Solutions

• Denise Hatzidakis, chief technology officer at Premier

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