ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Key health care industry leaders, innovators and lawmakers gathered at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, through Friday, January 31, 2014, to engage in a series of panel discussions at the 2014 Florida Health Care Affordability Summit. The Summit, hosted by the Foundation of Associated Industries of Florida (FAIF), has once again brought together some of the most instrumental decision makers and forward-thinking business and industry leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities to guide the future of Florida's health care system.
From technologies that will deliver quality care and patient monitoring to a patient's home, to workplace incentives that can promote healthier lifestyles and a healthier workforce, physicians, business leaders, industry pioneers and lawmakers discussed the many tools within our health care delivery system that can be used to make health care accessible and affordable for Floridians.
“Once again, we were able to witness and take part in an objective, highly-engaging and, most importantly, uninhibited discussion among thought leaders from across the health care industry spectrum,” said AIF President and CEO Tom Feeney. “We experienced a wonderful exchange of ideas on how we can all work toward practical, tangible solutions that will lower the barriers of accessibility to good, quality health care for Floridians.”
Welcoming attendees at the opening reception on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, was Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of the bestselling “The South Beach Diet” series, who signed his new “Gluten Solutions” edition for attendees and expanded on the importance of improving health care delivery methods.
To begin the set of panel discussions on Thursday, January 30, 2014, the Summit welcomed opening keynote speaker and Health Policy Analyst Paul Keckley, Ph.D., who provided a comprehensive and insightful look into the current state of our national health care landscape and what possible solutions Florida lawmakers and providers can implement to lower costs and insure more and more Floridians.
Thursday's panelists engaged in discussions to address 'the tools of technology for health care access,' moderated by Representative Jason Brodeur, 'medical innovation,' moderated by Senator Anitere Flores, 'employer innovations,' moderated by Representative Matt Hudson, 'health care workforce innovations,' moderated by Representative Jose Oliva, and expectations for 'health care coverage,' moderated by Senator Aaron Bean. Attendees also heard from Nancy M. Green, managing principal for Verizon Healthcare, on trends, implementation and challenges for use of new medical technologies.
“I think it’s a very exciting time in health care in Florida and I appreciate everyone being here,” said Representative Brodeur. “When it comes to health care, we’ve never really given the active consumer – the healthy seeker – the chance to really go and see what the best way to have health care provided is because we’ve almost artificially stunted that pursuit. Now, there's technology available that allows us to let those folks become the thought leaders within their peer groups – to show what's possible. Technology exists to do a whole lot of things much more efficiently and with a lot more care than we currently have it proposed.”
“It was an honor to be among this distinguished group of industry experts and be a part of the Health Care Coverage panel,” said Senator Bean. “The ability of FAIF to bring together such a vast industry covering many different health care fields into one room to discuss the important issues facing the future of health care in our state, speaks volumes. This platform provided by FAIF has given us the opportunity to help drive thoughtful conversations in an effort to improve the lives of Floridians, and I am excited to have been a part of it.”
Concluding Thursday's events was a reception featuring keynote speaker Adam Putnam, Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who spoke on the importance of utilizing fresh Florida produce to mobilize schools to invest in the nutrition and wellbeing of our children.
“Focusing on meeting our children's nutritional needs at the right ages and setting better habits and routines is a direct investment in their academic and personal success,” said Commissioner Putnam. “We have an opportunity to meet a need using what we grow right here in the State of Florida. And, in a world where so many of its problems seem intractable, this one is not. We can solve the hunger and malnourishment problem in Florida and the United States by using some of the tools we have right here at home.”
Summit attendees got an early start on Friday, January 31, 2014, participating in a fitness boot camp or yoga session, or a 4-mile ‘Speaker’s Race.’ Following the ‘Be Active: Florida’ fitness activities, attendees heard from keynote speaker Dr. John H. Armstrong, Florida's Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, who spoke on the importance of maintaining a ‘healthier weight’ and changing our environments both in the workplace and at home to promote and wellness.
Friday's panelists then engaged in a discussion to address 'the high cost of poor health' in Florida, moderated by Senator Joe Negron.
“Providing health care isn’t just about writing checks and having doctors see patients,” said Senator Negron while attending the Summit. “We spend a lot of money on health care, and we want to make sure we get it right and make sure that the outcomes are the best that they can be. To me, the bottom line from this panel was: we need to do a better job of making sure that every woman who is pregnant receives prenatal care in a timely manner; secondly, that financial incentives and other incentives that are employer based work in modifying behavior; and finally, that as we bring more Medicaid eligible citizens into our insurance plans, we are working hard to make sure they are integrated and treated the same as everybody else.”
Closing the Summit was keynote speaker David Chenoweth, Ph.D., president of Chenoweth & Associates, Inc., who focused on preventative measures for our children and the importance of mitigating risk factors that compromise health, such as child obesity and diabetes.
“We look forward to turning this wealth of information into real-life solutions that will work toward making Florida’s health care more accessible and affordable for all Floridians,” said Feeney.
For full details on all participants, presentations given, photos and video clippings from the 2014 Health Care Affordability Summit, please visit www.healthcareflorida.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @HealthCareFL or by checking in on #healthcareFL.
Sponsors of the 2014 Health Care Affordability Summit include Aetna, AARP, AT&T, AvMed, Be Active Florida, CareSync, Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Hospital Corporation of America, Sunshine Health, Tenet, Verizon and Wal-Mart. In addition to corporate sponsors, the 2014 Florida Health Care Affordability Summit is also made possible in part by an educational grant from The Florida Blue Foundation, a foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Floridians and their communities.