Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Message from the Medicaid Managed Care Congress Chairperson Vern Smith

Vernon K. Smith, Ph.D. , Managing Principal, HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, Medicaid Managed Care Congress Chairperson, would like to share this message with you:

All who work in Medicaid and the managed care marketplace have seen major changes in the last few years. But the next few years will see some of the most significant changes in the history of Medicaid, with barely enough time to prepare for them. There are tremendous risks, and also high-stake opportunities in what lies immediately ahead, with major implications for states, Medicaid programs and the managed care plans that serve the expanding numbers of Americans who will be enrolled in the program.

More states are now relying on managed care, and more medically complex populations are being served by Medicaid health plans. The focus has turned to how to improve health care and health outcomes, while finding a way to slow the growth in health care costs, especially for the most vulnerable groups in Medicaid, including the dual eligibles.

The keywords now are innovation, coordination, collaboration, quality improvement and performance. It is an exciting time to be involved with serving the health care needs of this population.

I would like to invite you to attend IIR’s 20th Annual Medicaid Managed Care Congress, taking place on April 30 – May 2 in Baltimore. As you may already know, I have chaired this event for the past few years, and have seen how this even , year after year, has consistently been a place where health plan leaders, and state and federal officials, have come together to share best practices and lessons learned as they seek to make Medicaid better.

Without question, one of my favorite aspects of the Medicaid Managed Care Congress has been the quality of the faculty and the participants. When you download the agenda, you’ll see more than 40 exceptional speakers. There is plenty of opportunity for interaction and informal discussion with the speakers, and many attendees place great value on what they learn from more than 350 fellow participants in the world of Medicaid managed care.

New for 2012:
  • - An increased focus on managing care for the dual eligibles
  • - Greater state representation than ever before
  • - In-depth discussion on health insurance Exchange integration with states from various stages of implementation
  • - Tracks especially focused on benefit design excellence, enrollment and retention, and improving clinical outcomes for chronic care management
  • - Insight presented by health plan Presidents into building a robust provider networks

Personally, I am very interested in the plenary session focused on the 2012 election, and the implications its outcome will have on Medicaid managed care.

For more information about this conference, visit the website.

As a reader of this blog, when you register today and mention code XP1726BLOG, you’ll receive a discount of 25% off the standard rate. If you have any questions about this program, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at

Thank you very much, and I look forward to seeing you this spring in Baltimore!


Vernon K. Smith, Ph.D.
Managing Principal, HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, Medicaid Managed Care Congress Chairperson

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