Healthlink conference digs into health care reform

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The final word on health care reform may not be in, but medical and business leaders aren’t waiting to dig deeper.
Federal health care reform and Mississippi’s developing health care exchange were central topics at the annual HealthLink Managed Care Conference in Tupelo on Tuesday. Nearly 250 people attended the sessions to try to stay ahead of changes.
“We should all become students of what the change will bring our way,” said Wally Davis, vice president for managed care at North Mississippi Health Services. “It’s going to take us all working together to make sense of it.”
The Affordable Care Act is an especially complex piece of legislation, and there are a lot of rules that remain to be written, said Bruce Toppin, vice president and general counsel for North Mississippi Health Services.
“It depends on how you look at it,” Toppin said. “There’s something everyone can like and there’s something everyone doesn’t like.”
Employers will have to carefully comb through the act’s provisions because of changes to the tax code and health insurance requirements.
Mississippi is well-positioned with the development of its own health care exchange, which will provide individuals and small businesses a marketplace to shop for health care insurance, Davis said.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has paused further development until after the November elections, Davis said.
michaela.morris@journalinc.com