White Plains, NY – April 12, 2018 – Experts from across the healthcare industry – including hospital executives, doctors, benefits specialists and health insurance providers – gathered on Wednesday to discuss the growing challenges associated with providing medical coverage and keeping costs down at a forum organized and hosted by the Westchester County Association (WCA) – Westchester’s leading economic development and business advocacy organization.
America’s Chronic Condition: The Rising Cost of Your Healthcare was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown, NY as part of the WCA’s ongoing All Access Healthcare Series.
The panel featured Kevin Dahill, President and CEO of the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State,
Mary Jo Jacobs, Vice President at USI Insurance Services, Dr. Charles Rothberg, President of the Medical Society of the State of NY, and Eric Linzer, President and CEO of the NY Health Plan Association. Journal News/lohud healthcare reporter David Robinson acted as the panel moderator.
“When you think about the 51,000 people employed in the healthcare industry in this region and the fact that it generates payroll taxes of more than $250 million—that’s helping the economy in a fairly dramatic way,” said William M. Mooney, Jr., president and CEO of the WCA. “So when we examine rising healthcare costs and how it affects our economy, it’s not just about the narrow viewpoint of cost being passed onto businesses and consumers; it’s about a lot more than that.”
Much of the discussion highlighted the tensions between healthcare providers and employers vis-a-vis the healthcare insurers. In a pre-event survey sent out to WCA members, over half of the respondents said their medical expenses had increased over the previous year as a result of higher premiums and deductibles and increased pharmaceutical costs. The healthcare providers on the panel noted that they are squeezed on both ends – the reimbursements they receive from insurers have been decreasing or delayed and, as employers, the costs they bear for providing healthcare insurance for their employees have increased. This is particularly problematic for an industry where cash flow and profit margins are tight. The one area of agreement was that all of the panelists opposed the idea of a single-payer healthcare system, although many in the WCA survey indicated that would be a good solution to the current system.
The event is part of the WCA’s ongoing efforts in the area of healthcare, working in close partnership with Westchester’s healthcare and life sciences institutions to advance policies that ensure providers have an environment to succeed, while elevating Westchester’s profile as a national center of innovation in healthcare and biotech.
About The Westchester County Association
The Westchester County Association (www.westchester.org) is the leading economic development and business advocacy organization serving Westchester County and the region. The Association is committed to Smart Growth, business advocacy and economic vitality, and to providing a strong and clear voice for the interests of business. Its key objectives are to promote positive economic development in the region; foster business development; and provide its members with access to and interaction with key public and private sector individuals, agencies and organizations.