Healthcare conference at University of Miami tackles costs, value

Employers want to contain them. Politicians want to reform them. And consumers, for the most part, just want to understand them.

Healthcare costs are complex, changing and central to the Affordable Care Act, which is forcing doctors, hospitals and insurers to work in new ways to improve access and outcomes for patients while also controlling the nation’s health spending.

On Friday, healthcare industry leaders from hospital and insurance chief executives to academics and former government officials will meet at the University of Miami to share ideas on the ACA, the future of the health business and policy during the third annual Business of Healthcare conference.

This year’s theme is “Bending the Cost Curve,’’ with a focus on how businesses, healthcare providers and the government can best achieve value.

Hosted by the Center for Health Sector Management and Policy at UM’s School of Business Administration, the conference will feature three panels focusing on the transformation of the healthcare system and its effect on employers, the political pressures and processes in place to manage costs, and innovations and responses among hospitals and insurers to the new law.

Steven Ullmann, the conference organizer and a health policy professor at UM, said the panels will help many figure out the healthcare system.

“Whereas there’s insights for the business leaders,’’ he said, “there’s also insights for the individuals who work within those industries because they’re going to have to make decisions based on new methodologies and accessing healthcare.”

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