Groundbreaking Universal Health Care Conference on the Uninsured Explores Using Technology in Child Health Plus and Medicaid Enrollment: "Building Blocks for Universal Health Care in New York," a May 8, 2008 conference on using technology to help enroll the uninsured, is sponsored by the Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality (Hcheq)

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The first step in the long journey toward universal health care in New York is maximizing enrollment of eligible uninsured New Yorkers in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus. Yet, the mechanics of enrolling the uninsured frequently gets in the way. The potential for using technology to improve the process is the focus of "Building Blocks for Universal Health Care in New York: Bridging Coverage Gaps with Information Technology," a conference that will be held on Thursday, May 8, 2008, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City. The day-long event, sponsored by the Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality (Hcheq), is the first conference of its kind to bring together policy and health care technology experts to discuss the role technology should play in increasing access to Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus for all eligible uninsured individuals.

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We need enlightened health care policy to solve the problem of the uninsured and the underinsured, but also the administrative infrastructure and technology in place to support it

    The conference focuses on New York State, where roughly 900,000 people -- 40 percent of the state's 2.2 million uninsured -- are eligible but not enrolled in public health insurance provided by Medicaid, Family Health Plus or Child Health Plus (CHPlus) programs.

"We need enlightened health care policy to solve the problem of the uninsured and the underinsured, but also the administrative infrastructure and technology in place to support it," explains Georganne Chapin, President and CEO of Hcheq. "Information technology initiatives are already at work in health care programs in New York and other states and have huge potential to increase coverage and access. This conference will bring together leaders from New York's health care community to start a productive and, hopefully, ongoing discussion about how to leverage information technology in the enrollment and eligibility process for New York's Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus insurance programs."

The conference will feature panels of experts in health care, IT, and public policy. The keynote speaker will be Sam Karp, Vice President of Programs, California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), who is a nationally recognized leader in developing IT solutions to overcome barriers to public insurance enrollment. A former director of CHCF's Health Information Technology program and Chief Information Officer, Mr. Karp led the development of the first Web-based application in the United States to enroll uninsured low-income children in public health insurance programs.

Other conference participants include Deborah Bachrach, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Health Insurance Programs, and New York State Medicaid Director, NYS Department of Health; Michael Birnbaum, Directory of Policy, Medicaid Institute, United Hospital Fund; Patricia Boozang; Tangerine M. Brigham, Deputy Director of Health, Director of Healthy San Francisco, San Francisco Department of Public Health; Anne Marie Costello, Director, Bureau of NYC Compliance and Customer Service, NYS Department of Health; Andrea Dodge, Chief Administrative Officer, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Mary Harper, Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York City Human Resource Medical Insurance and Community Service Administration; Linda Hacker, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Managed Care and Family Health Plus, New York City Human Resources Administration; David Hansell, Commissioner, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; George L. Hoover, Deputy Commissioner, Pennsylvania CHIP and adultBasic Programs, and Joshua Lipsman, Commissioner of Health, Westchester County Department of Health.

Specific topics participants will explore include:

-- The current landscape of IT innovation in New York's Medicaid/Child Health Plus enrollment and eligibility process;

-- Opportunities for making enrollment of the uninsured more accessible, efficient and accurate through IT innovation;

-- Barriers to implementing IT innovation and potential policy solutions for removing or reducing those barriers;

-- Experiences of states and localities currently using electronic application and enrollment technology in their public health insurance or universal health care programs.

"Building Blocks for Universal Health Care in New York" will be held on Thursday, May 8th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City. The conference fee, including lunch, is $175. For more information and to register, call (914) 372-2100 or visit http://www.hcheq.org.

About Hcheq

The Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality (Hcheq) is an independent not-for-profit organization that promotes the delivery of high quality health care for all people. Hcheq is an advocate for universal health care and other policies to broaden health care access, and a developer of information technologies for improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of medical care. As the national health information infrastructure grows, Hcheq will contribute by offering tools that streamline clinical and administrative practices. For more information, visit http://www.hcheq.org.

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Jeannie Mandelker
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