Obamacare and Changing Health Care Market Topic of University of Wyoming Conference

August 27, 2013
Author Steven Brill, who wrote the groundbreaking Time magazine article “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” will appear by videoconference at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Wyoming Union Family Room.

Experts led by groundbreaking author and Time magazine writer Steven Brill will examine sweeping social, legal and economic consequences of the Affordable Care Act during a Consumer Issues Conference Oct. 2-4 at the University of Wyoming. The conference also examines the state of innovation and legal issues in the new health care market generally.

The new law, popularly known as “Obamacare,” has several features scheduled to take effect this year and more in 2014. It will bring major changes in the health care market that will affect all American consumers.

“We will provide consumers with the information they need to understand how they will be affected and what they need to do to navigate their way through the complicated and sometimes difficult-to-comprehend provisions of the new health care regulations,” says Virginia Vincenti, professor in the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She says the UW conference, “Navigating the New Healthcare Market,” will cover innovative directions in the health care industry, legal issues including Medicaid expansion in the states, and consumer issues to help people make wise decisions in determining their health care future. 

Continuing Legal Education and Professional Teaching Standards Board Credits are available. Registration costs $60 on or before Sept. 23 and $70 after that. Discounts offered to seniors and UW employees are free, as are all students from any institution. To register and to see a complete conference schedule, information about speakers, traveling to Laramie and other conference information, visit the website at https://www.uwyo.edu/cic/default.asp.

The “Innovative Directions” track includes topics such as new "patient centric" and "team care" models for patient care, supporting health with information technology, and the use of "telehealth" systems to bring patients in "virtual" contact with distance providers.

The “Legal Issues” track will include discussions on the ACA basics, Medicaid expansion in the states, state implementations of the ACA, and a presentation on last year’s Supreme Court case upholding the new law. Other topics include health care issues affecting gay/lesbian partners, nursing home contracts and other "end of life" issues, and access to health care for immigrants and minorities.

The final track, "Consumer Compass," will help consumers find direction on health care issues and policies. Speakers will cover such topics as long-term care, health care "literacy" education, mental health needs on campus, and insurance information for college students.

Brill, who wrote the groundbreaking Time magazine article “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” will appear by videoconference at 9 a.m. Friday in the Wyoming Union Family Room.

Other keynote speakers are: Stephen Feldman, distinguished professor in the UW College of Law, who will discuss the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the ACA’s constitutionality, Thursday at 12:15 p.m.; Elaine Ryan of the AARP national office, speaking on state implementation of the ACA, Thursday at 9 a.m.; and Bonnie Braun, University of Maryland professor of family sciences, speaking on “Health Care Policy and Health Insurance Literacy,” Thursday at 3 p.m. 

A documentary film, “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare,” will be shown Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m., and there will be numerous other highly qualified speakers during concurrent breakout sessions.  An exhibit area will be available all day on Oct. 3 and the morning of Oct. 4, and an “interactive health fair” will be offered during the afternoon of Oct. 4.

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