WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The issue of health care access has never been more important. To develop industry-focused, innovative solutions to the challenges of creating access, the Health Care Industry Access Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting collaborative action across the health care industry to improve health care access, will host Summit 2013: Beyond Health Reform to Health Care Access: Solving Access Challenges to Achieve Success in Health Reform. The Summit will be held Feb. 13-15, 2013, at the FHI 360 Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Experts will address a range of topics, including fostering consumer engagement in health insurance exchanges (now re-dubbed "marketplaces"); how health care organizations are using social media to connect with consumers; the return of the house call; and the latest innovations in care transitions.
"Ensuring individuals have access to the coverage and care they need is a thornier problem than we could have imagined just a few years ago. If simply 'building it' were sufficient, millions more Americans would have coverage and access to primary care," said Carrie Valiant, founder and president of the Health Care Industry Access Initiative. She is a Member of the Firm in Epstein Becker Green's Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in Washington, D.C. "At this summit, we are bringing together some of the sharpest minds in the country to discuss this and other pressing challenges around access. I am confident we will all leave with a better understanding of what we must do to move the Triple Aim from aspiration to reality."
Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, IBM's global director of healthcare transformation and president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), will deliver the keynote address Thursday morning: "How Patient-Centered Medical Homes Can Transform Patient Access to Healthcare." Grundy champions the notion that patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) can provide a foundation for a high-performing health care system. His work has been widely reported in leading magazines, journals, and broadcast outlets. In 2012, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine.
Wednesday's dinner speaker, Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, dean, Jefferson School of Nursing, will share the challenges she faced as a health professional and caregiver, while navigating the health care system on behalf of her husband. The account was recently published in Health Affairs.
Access to care is the most basic step to achieving the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim—improve the health of the population; enhance the patient experience of care; and reduce, or at least control, the per capita cost of care. Health care reform – or more accurately, its transformation – depends on reaching the consumer: People must sign up for coverage, and then access needed care. But offering – or even mandating – coverage is not enough. Many individuals fail to sign up for programs for which they are eligible, even when those programs are free. More troubling, most uninsured people lack relationships with primary care physicians – the entry point for obtaining cost-effective health care services.
"Access – a core PCMH tenet – is a topic close to my heart. Improving patient access to primary care is central to improving the quality and efficiency of health care – and we have substantial evidence to prove that," said Grundy. "Our success connecting with patients – especially those without a primary care provider will determine the fate of our health care system. Health reform takes us part of the way there, but to make a lasting difference, we need more than reformation. We need transformation. I believe this Summit will help us accomplish the latter."
The Health Care Industry Access Initiative is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to promoting collaborative action by health care industry stakeholders to improve health care access – both coverage and services – in the United States. It is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to access that is industry-focused across all segments of health care.
 Benefits of Implementing the Primary Care Patient-Centered Medical Home: Cost and Quality Results, PCPCC 2012. (http://www.pcpcc.net/content/pcmh-outcome-evidence-quality)
SOURCE Health Care Industry Access Initiative