The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. Three years later, many Americans are left with unanswered questions.
In an effort to help educate Iowans on the new law, the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Rahul Parsa, Principal Financial Group Distinguished Professor and professor of actuarial science and statistics, hosted a roundtable discussion that brought together a variety of experts to discuss rising health care costs and the impact on insurance affordability.
“We talk to our students about the importance of interdisciplinary practice as future professionals, but because the CPHS is the only health care-focused college on campus, one might assume that we have limited ability for interdisciplinary learning. I believe we are less limited than we think,” says Andrea Kjos, assistant professor of social and administrative sciences, CPHS. “Co-hosting the event with the CBPA and the actuarial department demonstrates that we can also have interdisciplinary activities within our University community. The health care and business worlds have priorities that can align but sometimes conflict. I think it is important to promote informed dialog on why these practical conflicts occur and how we can address them.”
Kjos and Parsa sought out pertinent professionals to speak at the roundtable, including Dr. Richard Deming, the keynote speaker. Deming is the medical director for Mercy Cancer Center Radiation Oncology in Des Moines and an active member in many different oncology organizations.
A diverse lineup of guest speakers from multiple disciplines provided varying viewpoints..Notably, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Joel Ario, director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges, was joined on a panel by David Lyons, CEO of Co-Opportunity Health and former insurance commissioner of Iowa.
“The new health care reform law impacts professionals in different industries in different ways,” says Kjos. “The goal was for participants to be educated on the topic in the context of perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including that of actuarial, pharmacy, insurance, law, and medicine.”
Because of generous support from the business community, including PwC, Aviva USA, EMC Insurance, and Principal Financial Group, the roundtable was a free event open to the public.