National Employer Summit – Live Stream Available

All content from the Summit is now available on the NRHI Marketplace. Visit today to gain access to resources that will help you move this important work forward in your community!

The Role of Employers in Bringing Down the Cost of U.S. Healthcare

In 2016, the average employer provided family healthcare policy cost was $18,142. That’s an increase of 58% since 2006.

In March, he HealthDoers Network, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, and local host Washington Health Alliance convened healthcare leaders and employers to explore the role they can collectively play in bringing down the cost of healthcare. We’ll discuss:

  • Innovative solutions to value-based purchasing, benefit design and incentives, transparency, performance measurement, and policy barriers
  • Solutions to overcome barriers for executing on payment reform
  • How purchasers can lead efforts to advance healthcare affordability
  • National and regional efforts, with an emphasis on how to develop regional partnerships aimed to support collaborative community efforts to meet national purchasers’ needs

Presentations featured national employer, Boeing, as well as other leaders in this space, to talk about their perspectives on this matter. Attendees included employers, payers, and healthcare professionals/leaders from all over the U.S. interested in finding a solution to this growing problem.


  • Provide innovative solutions to value-based purchasing, benefit design and incentives, transparency, performance measurement, and policy barriers
  • Identify and offer solutions to overcome barriers to payment reform
  • Discuss how purchasers can lead efforts to advance healthcare affordability
  • Highlight ways in which local and regional players can help national employers address complex national benefit design needs

Evening Reception

5:30 pm – Welcome, Opening Remarks

  • Nancy Giunto, Executive Director, Washington Health Alliance

5:45 pm – Why We Must do Something Different, and Do It Now

Setting the stage for why employers need to do more and their critical role in getting to healthcare affordability.

6:00 pm – Welcome from NRHI and the HealthDoers Network

The importance of this being a collective effort.

National Employer Summit

7:30 am – Networking Breakfast

8:30 am – Affordable Healthcare for All – Keynote Address

What affordable health and healthcare could look like for families and communities.

9:00 am – Making It Work: How Purchasers Are Driving Affordability

Address key aims as purchasers, discuss what is working, highlight important barriers, and call out what we should collectively be doing to advance healthcare affordability.

  • David Grossman, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Medical Director, Market Strategy and Public Policy, Kaiser Permanente Washington
  • Merissa Clyde, Managing Director, Health Benefits Administration, SEIU 775 Benefits Group
  • Alan Gilbert, Director of Health Policy, Government, and Community Strategy, GE Healthymagination
  • Glenn D. Steele Jr., MD, PhD, Vice Chairman, Health Transformation Alliance
  • Karen Wren, Director of Benefits, Point B Consulting
  • Moderator – Elizabeth Mitchell, President & CEO, NRHI

10:15 am – Break

10:30 am – How Transparency Helps Us Transform

Cost and quality data transparency are necessary in shifting to high performance healthcare.

11:00 am – Reducing Unnecessary Services

Tackling unnecessary healthcare services is critical in achieving affordability.

  • Karen Feinstein, President & CEO, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
  • Daniel Wolfson, Executive VP & COO, ABIM Foundation
  • Moderator – Jerry Reeves, MD, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, HealthInsight

11:45 am – Lunch Buffet

12:00 pm – Lunch Presentation  – Addressing Low-Value Healthcare Services

Low-value healthcare services are wasteful and can cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to patients. They unnecessarily drive up costs and strain the healthcare system. We all know that this is a fundamental problem in healthcare, but what can we do about it? Learn how the Washington Health Alliance has begun to measure low-value care, what they’re learning from their results, and where they’re likely to start in tackling the problem in their region.

  • Susie Dade, Deputy Director, Washington Health Alliance

12:30 pm – Addressing Waste − Reaction Panel

  • Glenn D. Steele, Jr., MD, PhD, Vice Chairman, Health Transformation Alliance
  • Michael Thompson, President & CEO, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers Coalitions
  • Lindsay Erickson, Director, Value Based P4P Program, Integrated Healthcare Association
  • Peter Hayes, President & CEO, Maine Health Management Coalition
  • Moderator – Susie Dade, Deputy Director, Washington Health Alliance

1:15 pm – Moving the Data and Information to Action: Washington Health Alliance Case Study

Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives help their communities to deliver higher quality and more affordable healthcare in many ways. To be successful, the WHA believes that data and information must be moved to action to accomplish Triple Aim objectives. This panel will discuss specific ways products developed by the Alliance have been used across all the stakeholder groups to drive action.

  • Dan Lessler, MD, CMO, Washington State Health Care Authority
  • David Buchholz, MD, Medical Director, Provider and Customer Engagement, Premera Blue Cross
  • Caroline Whalen, Administrative Officer & Director, Department of Executive Services, King County
  • Tim Lieb, President, Regence BlueShield
  • Moderator – Nancy Giunto, Executive Director, Washington Health Alliance

2:00 pm – Break 

2:15 pm – Aligning Incentives for Value – All On Board

Both patient and provider incentives need to be aligned to be impactful.

  • Michael Cochran, Senior Manager, Global Benefits, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Trisha Tyler, Pacific Northwest Health Business Leader, Mercer
  • Alex Rule, Northwest Regional Vice President, Sales, Arthur J. Gallagher
  • Christopher Kodama, MD, President, Multicare Connected Care, LLC
  • Moderator – Louise Probst, Executive Director, St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition

3:00 pm – How Policy Can Support Healthcare Affordability

Regulatory changes, payment policies, and quality improvement initiatives can both promote and thwart the advancement of value-based purchasing. Understand ways to positively influence policy and current actions that can be made.

  • Bill Kramer, Executive Director for National Health Policy, PBGH

3:15 pm – Question and Answer

3:30 pm – Call to Action, Closing Remarks

Join the Affordability Campaign!

  • Nancy Giunto, Executive Director, Washington Health Alliance
  • Mylia Christensen, Executive Director, HealthInsight Oregon, Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation

3:45 pm – Adjourn

Additional Resources

This event is made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Agenda is subject to change.


Unless otherwise noted, all virtual NRHI events are hosted in Eastern Standard time.

Date(s) - 03/06/2018 - 03/07/2018
6:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Grand Hyatt Seattle