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11 Top Takeaways from Government, Health Leaders in Baltimore


What You Missed at the 2024 Medicare, Medicaid, Duals & Commercial Markets Forum

Published Mar 22, 2024 • by AHIP

Health insurance provider professionals and health policy leaders met last week in Baltimore to discuss top issues affecting Medicare and Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, dual-eligible populations, and commercial markets. Their shared goal? Shaping strong, sustainable, programs that continue to make access to health care and coverage available and affordable for those who rely on it.

Here are just a few of the top insights you missed.


What I am most proud of, is the ability that we've all had to work together, especially as we were emerging from the pandemic, taking those lessons learned and taking that mission on — to all together drive change to serve the people who rely on our program.”

- Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

“None of these [marketplace] accomplishments happen with just one party. Everyone in this room, the entire health care ecosystem was really involved and engaged in that process.”

- Jeff Wu JD, MBA, Deputy Director, Policy, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Medicare Advantage:

We think [Medicare Advantage] aligns everybody's interests. If you can provide the best quality care for beneficiaries at the most affordable costs, you're creating the most value for individuals.”

- John Kao, Founder & CEO, Alignment Health

“Figuring out how do we make sure that seniors who are signing up for Medicare Advantage also understand what the benefit is, and as appropriate, they're educated on what the differences are between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage. I think those are areas of bipartisan interest.”

- Josie Villanueva, Vice President, Fulcrum Public Affairs LLC

Mental Health:

“…Despite the fact that we've had a workforce shortage for many years, we've seen 60% more people raising their hand and accessing benefits since the start of a pandemic. We know we have to change how we're delivering care.”

- Douglas Nemecek, MD, MBA, BA, CHIE, Chief Medical Officer, Behavioral Health, Evernorth Health Services

“[We’re] trying to drive and build the infrastructure so that we can be one health care system — so that we're really facilitating this idea that there's no wrong door to get the behavioral health care that you need.”

- Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Artificial Intelligence:

“Chat GPT gets all the attention, but there's plenty of things in the AI space that we've automated and made for greater efficiency. We see as everybody does there's a real explosion coming in this AI ChatGPT space. I think it's incumbent upon all of us to do it responsibly.

- Pat Geraghty, President & CEO, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation and Florida Blue

“I think this is a good moment to say that you should use the best tool for your problem. And sometimes that's not going to be an AI tool.”

- Jennifer S. Geetter, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Drug Prices:

Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anybody else in the world, and there are reasons why that's the case. In 2020 and 2021, the remarkable fact is that half of the drugs that came to market cost more than $150,000 in a year, which is just kind of shocking.”

- Tony Barrueta, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente

Health Equity:

“There's this desire to not lose the momentum of where we are moving beyond the idea that equity is a priority and a box that we check to it really being something more that's enduring for the health care system.”

- LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President & Chief Health Equity Officer, AHIP

“Yes, [health equity] may seem like challenging work, but what isn’t challenging that’s worth doing? I want to see us accelerate that.”

- Karen Dale, RN, MSN Market President & Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, AmeriHealth Caritas

“That is what I'm so proud of right now. We are really making sure that we are investing in understanding how we got here, how we can move from here creating sustainable programs and initiatives that are going to be lasting, and that we make sure that we're taking care of everybody.”

- Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network (AHN), Professor, Academic Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Drexel University School of Medicine

Catch up on more key highlights from the conference with #GovMktsForum on LinkedIn.

Did you miss out on attending this year? Save the date for next year, March 24-27, 2025, at the Baltimore Hilton Inner Harbor. Will we see you there?