Sunday, October 10, 2010

Greater Philadelphia Assoc of Health Underwriters-- GPAHU

Health Underwriters are the real sales force for insurance carriers across the nation. One of their largest membership organizations is here in Philadelphia--the Greater Philadelphia Assoc of Health Underwriters. I had the privilege of giving the plenary address to their entire 500 strong membership on Thursday, October 7th. I was asked to "sort out" health reform for them and to render my opinion about its implications in our marketplace. Well,no easy task for sure!!I told them my best understanding of the ACA is this---NO OUTCOME-NO INCOME---meaning, that we will face unprecedented levels of public accountability for what we do everyday as providers AND that we will come to be paid only after we achieve certain levels of outcome. Hence, No outcome--No income!!! This is a tough message--one filled with uncertainty and the possible erosion of professional autonomy too. Following my remarks, a leadership panel that included persons from Independence Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, United and Coventry made brief statements about their role and then we all took questions from a moderator. The insurance industry is clearly challenged by ACA and all of its implications. The carriers are in a watchful waiting mode, thinking about new markets and new opportunities too. GPAHU is an important part of the payment landscsape and the role of the broker under reform is still not clear. One thing IS clear---business as usual is out of the question!! DAVID NASH