A Decade of D.C. Delegations
LHC Set for 10th Annual Trip March 21-22

Leadership Health Care, an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council, is finalizing plans for its 10th annual Delegation to Washington, D.C. on March 21-22.

Keep Up with the Delegation Online

Subheading: Medical News Posting Daily Blogs

Just as we did with the 2011 Wall Street delegation, Nashville Medical News will be posting updates, pictures and blog entries from a delegate on the ground to keep you up-to-date on all the news coming out of Washington. Go online to www.NashvilleMedicalNews.com March 22-26 and look for highlights under the “Breaking News” section.

The trip includes briefings, panel discussions and a special 10th anniversary reception and dinner featuring former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as the keynote speaker. Judith Byrd, LHC director, said, “We are thrilled to offer a top-notch program schedule this year with two half-days of programming featuring some of the industry’s top executives, thought leaders and administration officials.” Those on tap to address the delegation include:

  • Jonathan Bush — co-founder & CEO of athenahealth
  • Sheila Burke — senior public policy advisor for Baker, Donelson, Beaman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
  • Rich Deem — senior vice president for Advocacy for the American Medical Association
  • Karen Ignagni — president & CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • Charles N. Kahn, III — president & CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals
  • U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)
  • U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

“Enthusiasm for this signature trip has only grown from strength to strength as LHC continues to showcase timely and relevant policy issues for its membership and expose policy decision-makers to Nashville’s unique and impressive healthcare expertise,” Byrd noted. She added, “As LHC has grown over the years, so has momentum around this trip.”

The first delegation, under the banner of Young Health Care Leaders (now LHC), made its inaugural foray to D.C. in 2003, not long after the Nashville Health Care Council established the organization to foster the next generation of leadership for Nashville’s leading industry. Byrd said that first trip included 33 delegates. Last year, approximately 100 participated in the trip.  

The impetus behind the first trip and the 10th anniversary delegation remains the same … to enrich the next generation of Nashville-based healthcare industry leaders. “As part of that, it became clear that a program such as the Delegation to Washington, D.C. was needed to give future leaders a close-up view about healthcare policy and the decision-makers on Capitol Hill,” explained Byrd.

“Ten successful trips later,” she continued, “LHC’s Delegation to Washington, D.C. remains a one-of-a-kind program. As a heavily regulated industry, Nashville’s healthcare leaders have … and will continue to maintain … a keen understanding of the nation’s healthcare policy landscape.” She added that reimbursements and the regulatory impact on operations are of particular significance and interest.

LHC has developed a reputation for uncanny timing when it comes to their delegations to Washington, D.C. and Wall Street. The groups always seem to be on site at a momentous time. In fact, the 2010 D.C. delegation arrived the day after President Obama signed healthcare reform into law, and the 2011 New York City group was there during the rancorous debt ceiling debate and at the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Despite seeing fewer healthcare-related bills on the Hill since health reform was enacted, the provisions of the law continue to unfold rapidly on the regulatory side,” said Byrd. “The national economic recovery is also key as lawmakers weigh provider reimbursement and entitlement spending in the federal budget. All of these operational unknowns are exasperated by the Supreme Court deliberations on reform and the upcoming presidential election.”

Certainly the 2012 delegation should expect to glean better insight into life inside the Beltway given the level of speakers and officials who have agreed to meet with the group. As Byrd summed up, “It’s never quiet for healthcare in Washington.”