Confirmed thus far -- more to come!

7:30 AM          Registration and Breakfast

8:30 AM          Welcome

  • Laurel Pickering, President & CEO, NEBGH
  • Michelle Martin, VP, Human Resources Specialty Services, CBS Corporation & Chair, NEBGH Board of Directors

9:00 AM          Behind the Scenes in Health Policy - What's in Store for the Next Four Years

  • Kavita Patel, MD, MS, FACP, Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Institution;  Internist, Johns Hopkins Medicine

9:45 AM          Taking the Lid Off the Bottle - How Drugs are Priced and Paid For

Why is one drug so much more expensive than another?  How do rebates really work?  Are there perverse incentives that motivate pharma companies to price drugs higher than they might otherwise? What’s the rationale for formulary changes by the big PBMs, and how would physicians advise employers to be thinking about their own formularies?  An employers’ look inside the black box of drug pricing.

Moderator: Alexander Scutro, Senior Underwriting Consultant, Hays Companies


  • Kathleen Harris, VP, Benefits, Global Employee Services, Time Warner
  • Bill Resnick, CEO, EmpiRx Health
  • Michael D. Penn,  Director, Global Policy, Corporate Affairs, Pfizer Inc.
  • George Hill, Managing Director, RBC Securities

10:45 AM          Break with Exhibitors

11:15 AM          Clued In or Clueless? Physicians Share What They Know - and Don't Know - About How the System Works

Do doctors really understand how health insurance works for their patients?  Do they know what health plans are telling members about the care they receive?  Have you ever wondered if physicians actually read the care alerts sent out by plans?  Do they know about formularies and how to prescribe drugs that won’t cost patients a fortune?  If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a disconnect between physicians and everything else in the healthcare system – this session is for you!

Moderator: Brenda M. Bruns, MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Accounts, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual; Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Relations, UnitedHealth Group


  • Jeff Farber, MD, CEO, Mount Sinai ACO
  • Charles S. Saha, MD, Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Park Avenue Medical Professionals
  • Joseph S. Cervia, MD, MBA, FACP, FAAP, FIDSA, AAHIVS, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in NY; Regional Medical Director, HealthCare Partners IPA & MSO

12:15 PM          Lunch

1:15 PM            Did You Know? Unlocking Healthcare Mysteries

  • Dallen Allred, Chief Operating Officer, Artemis Health
  • Jim Gallic, North East Regional Vice President, Castlight Health
  • Miles Varn, MD, Chief Medical Officer, PinnacleCare

1:30 PM            Break with Exhibitors

1:45 PM            Concurrent Breakout Sessions

      A. Anatomy of Healthcare Costs - Breaking the Code(s) for Employers

Have you ever wondered how it can cost $30,000 to treat a sprained finger? Or why an employee gets balance billed $27,000 for outpatient knee surgery? Have you noticed a spike in physicians charging more because they’re now billing under facility codes?  What’s “fair” when it comes to cost, and is there anyone out there trying to do the right thing for purchasers, providers and patients? 

Moderator: Michelle Martin, VP, Human Resources Specialty Services, CBS Corporation


  • Rodger Smith, Senior VP, Payment Integrity, SCIO Health Analytics
  • Deremius Williams, Executive Director, Provider Network Management, Anthem
  • Kimberly Simensen, MHA, MBA, Senior Vice President, System and Network Planning, Business Development, Atlantic Health

      B. What's the Deal? Inside Health Plan-Provider Contract Negotiations

Who’s got the leverage in health plan-provider contract negotiations? What are the deal-breakers? How do health plans decide who’s in network and who’s not? How are plans evaluating performance, and are poor performers ever really penalized? Where are the shared savings for employers in shared savings contracts? Find out what goes on behind closed doors between health plans and providers, and how – if at all – you can make your voice heard.

Moderator: Shari Goldfarb, Director of Benefits for the Americas, Deutsche Bank AG


  • Karim Habibi, Senior Vice President and Chief of Managed Care, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Michael J. Wolk, MD, MACC, Professor of Clinical Medicine; Chair, Managed Care Contracting, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • John Tesoro, VP, Network New York Market Area, Aetna

      C. Creating an Employee-Centric Benefits Approach: A Look Inside Pfizer's Cancer Care "Huddle"

How can employers bring multiple vendors together to support employees diagnosed with a serious illness?  How can the needs associated with a serious illness be anticipated and addressed in a methodical way – and without overwhelming the employee?  Is it really possible to foster collaboration among vendors – instead of competition?  Step inside Pfizer and see how one big employer is creating a better experience for employees and family members with cancer by creating a multi-vendor “huddle” led by a clinical nurse “quarterback.”

Moderator: Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, Medical Director, NEBGH


  • Steve First, Vice President, Global Benefits, Pfizer Inc.
  • Michele Proscia, Director, US Health and Insurance Benefits and Policies, Pfizer Inc.
  • Emily Sasser, MPH, Special Projects Manager, NEBGH

      D. Solving the Engagement Enigma

Making the most of benefits investments requires better communications programs than most employers have in place. Who has solved the riddle when it comes to engagement tactics that work?  What’s the best way to make sure these programs pay off?  Employers speak.

Moderator: Shelley Sinclair, Assistant Director, Health & Welfare, Total Rewards - Benefits, EY


  • Prashant Srivastava, PhD, President, Evive Health LLC.
  • Steve Geiger, Vice President, Digital Products, Optum

2:45 PM            Concurrent Breakout Sessions (repeat of above)

3:30 PM            Networking Break with Exhibitors

3:45 PM            Ten Common Healthcare Mistakes Employers Make - And How to Fix Them

What should I be covering that I’m not?  What are some easy wins I’m not taking advantage of?  What’s the best advice medical directors and consultants can offer employers?

Moderator: Marco Diaz, SVP, Global Head of Benefits, News Corp


  • Charlie Smith MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Accounts, Cigna
  • Mark Wagar, President, Heritage Medical Systems
  • Michael Turpin, EVP, USI Insurance Services
  • Michael Taylor, Senior Vice President, Aon Hewitt