Newswise — COVID-19 and its spiral of variants have exposed not only obstacles to accessible, equitable medical care, but simultaneously spurred unprecedented opportunities to expand the use of telehealth and other interactive and transformative technologies. “The Business of Health Care Conference: Technology, Access & the New Normal” convenes top industry analysts to detail advances of the past year and those that continue to emerge.  

“With this devastating process and disease prompted by the pandemic, there are some silver linings, such as how to best address the provision of health care,” said Steven Ullmann, director of the University of Miami Center for Health Management and Policy. “Where the health care industry had been slowly evolving, the pandemic has spurred a revolution of change across many sectors.”

The conference takes place Friday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Four hundred fifty attendees, including speakers and panelists—and with 100 slots reserved for students—will be accommodated in person at The Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center on the Coral Gables Campus. All sessions will be live-streamed for up to 1,500 viewers worldwide.  

This is the University of Miami’s 11th annual business of health care conference, with Florida Blue once again serving as the presenting sponsor and major donor.

“The University of Miami’s Business of Health Care Conference brings leaders from across the industry together for a robust discussion on obstacles and opportunities to revolutionize health care,” said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO, GuideWell and Florida Blue. “I firmly believe it is only through these kinds of discussions, and the collaboration and partnerships that grow from them, that we can transform the health care system and drive interconnectivity between payers, providers, patients and caregivers.”

The impressive array of featured speakers includes Alex M. Azar II, former secretary of health and human services who serves as an adjunct professor of business and senior executive-in-residence at the Miami Herbert Business School. He will be interviewed by Karoline Mortensen, associate director of the university’s Center for Health Management and Policy.

Ullmann highlighted Azar’s role in spearheading the development and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine as an example of the invaluable first-hand experience imparted by conference participants.

Other participating industry specialists include Matthew D. Eyles, president and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans; Joseph Fifer, president and CEO, Healthcare Financial Management Association; Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, president and CEO of Medical Group Management Association; Dr. Rachel Villanueva, president, National Medical Association; Dr. Ernest Grant, president, American Nurses Association; Kelly Jo Golson, chief brand and consumer experience officer, Advocate Aurora Health; and Christopher Schoen, chief operating officer, Schoen Clinic, and founder, MindDoc. 

University President Julio Frenk, a global health expert whose insights have been sought frequently during the pandemic, will moderate an opening panel, and Norma Sue Kenyon, University vice provost for innovation and chief innovation officer for the Miller School of Medicine, will facilitate discussion for an afternoon session assessing new technologies.

A myriad of technological innovations that have been an outgrowth of the pandemic will be the focus of one of the panels, Ullmann pointed out, while noting the circular shift that has occurred in health care delivery. 

“There was a time when most provision of care was in the home and, while those days have gone by the wayside, the pandemic has prompted a return to home-based care thanks to the availability of new technologies and shifts in reimbursement methodologies and policy,” said Ullmann.

In terms of outcomes, he highlighted that attendees can expect to garner a “more thorough understanding of the innovative directions occurring industry-wide and the applicability and accessibility to that new normal.”

The Business of Health Care: Technology, Access & the New Normal takes place Friday, April 1, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Registration is complementary.