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HINJ and Other New Jersey Healthcare Leaders Hold Summit on Key Challenges

(L. to r.)  HINJ's Dean Paranicas, MSNJ's Larry Downs, NJAHP's Ward Sanders and NJHA's Betsy Ryan

(L. to r.) HINJ’s Dean Paranicas, MSNJ’s Larry Downs, NJAHP’s Ward Sanders and NJHA’s Betsy Ryan

Princeton, NJ, April 21, 2016 ― Members of New Jersey’s various healthcare communities — hospitals, health plans, physicians and life sciences — gathered today at the New Jersey Hospital Association for a daylong event to discuss the key challenges facing the healthcare delivery system.

The New Jersey Healthcare Stakeholder Summit focused on the importance of collaboration across sectors, which all share the goal of providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services that are accessible to all.

The event was a joint effort of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), the Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ), the New Jersey Association of Health Plans (NJAHP) and the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA).

“Our healthcare ecosystem is comprised of different sectors, each with its unique perspective and focus that sometimes produces shared and other times divergent views on healthcare issues,” said Dean J. Paranicas, president and CEO of HINJ, which represents the life sciences sector.  “However, all of these sectors are focused on the same goal: helping patients.  Today’s event demonstrates a collaborative approach to exploring new ways of working together to benefit patients and our entire healthcare system in aggregate.”

The day included a series of panel discussions in areas such as new models of care under the Affordable Care Act, collaborative solutions to today’s healthcare challenges, how wellness and prevention can reduce healthcare spending and how to achieve patient-centered care.

“More New Jerseyans have health insurance today than ever before, but affordability remains a significant challenge,” noted NJAHP President Wardell Sanders.  “The New Jersey Association of Health Plans is pleased to join our partners in the hospital, medical and pharmaceutical industries to discuss these challenges and explore opportunities to improve New Jersey’s health care system together.” 

The physician community agreed, stating, “The Medical Society of New Jersey is thrilled to participate in this historic joint event,” said Executive Director Larry Downs.  “Innovative partnerships and discussions like this are essential to improve patient care and access to care.”

Keynote remarks were delivered by Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and Tom Hubbard, vice president of policy and research for the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI).

Moderators and panelists included a who’s who of the region’s healthcare community, including Jackie Cornell-Bechelli, regional director of Region 2 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Mary O’Dowd, former commissioner of the N.J. Department of Health; and Ken Kobylowski of AmeriHealth New Jersey, former commissioner of the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.

“It’s a transformative time in healthcare, and each of our organizations hold a unique perspective in meeting the challenge of providing quality, accessible and affordable healthcare in New Jersey,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to have a collaborative conversation on that important goal.”

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