2010 National Conference: Meeting Materials Now Available

Health care reform and midterm elections put state governments in the midst of major transition, making it even more important for state leaders to collaborate and begin deciphering what's ahead on the political horizon. The Council of State Governments' 2010 National Conference, Dec. 3-6, in Providence, R.I., provided state leaders with a robust agenda structured to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing state governments.

Welcome to The Council of State Governments' 2010 National Conference.  As the nation's only nonpartisan, neutral convener of state government officials from all three branches, CSG  planned this meeting to provide a platform for state legislators, key legislative staff, state executive branch officials, state judicial officials and private-sector partners to exchange ideas and insights, develop creative solutions, and consider how to transform state government.  This meeting dedicated an entire day to exploring issues related to health care and health reform.

Friday, December 3

Reducing Health Disparities in Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS

State legislators, primarily from CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference states, attended a 4-hour session to learn more about health reform and state policies can reduce health disparities related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS.

Participants heard from national experts about how federal and state health reforms can help reduce health disparities. Speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health, and medical and community services providers gave background information on the epidemic of STDs/HIV and how state legislators can tackle these issues in their states and communities. Legislators from Utah and Rhode Island presented how they were able to gain passage of bills in their states to broaden prevention efforts and establish expedited partner therapy for STDs, and other legislators contributed their similar experiences from other states. Finally, legislators considered a list of the policy initiatives discussed, and indicated those they expect to pursue during the 2011-2012 legislative sessions.

Saturday, December 4

CSG Social Media Bootcamp

Public Policymakers' Guide to Reducing Health Care Costs

As states expand access to health insurance coverage under federal health reform, big questions remain about how to simultaneously improve health care quality and slow the growth in health costs. Some states have implemented innovative comprehensive programs to address these elusive policy goals. Presenters will discuss successful examples in the areas of administrative efficiencies, prevention and wellness, patient-centered health homes and payment reforms that can easily be replicated in your state.

The Future Health Care Marketplace: Understanding Health Insurance Exchanges

State insurance agencies are already planning for health insurance exchanges, which are due to launch in every state by January 2014. Learn the basics of how exchanges will offer insurance to individuals and small businesses that otherwise would not have access. Tailored to policymakers, this session will also identify the pressing decision points and timelines that states must address to successfully form an exchange.

Narrowing Rural Health Disparities

Programs under federal health reform aim to tackle the persistent challenges of rural health disparities through expanded access and quality. New investments in rural primary care work force development and changes to rural hospital financing are part of the strategies to improve quality and reduce cost while improving health. State experts will describe how investments in telemedicine are bringing immediate specialized care to remote areas to save lives and reduce unnecessary care and costs. Hear about state successes in teaching patients to effectively manage chronic diseases, showing how integrating information technology, coordinating health providers, and incorporating evidence-based service improvement could diminish rural health disparities.

Sunday, December 5

Sharing Capitol Ideas Roundtables:

Preview 2011 - What's Ahead for State Government
Sponsored by Capitol Ideas magazine

Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center for the States, led a panel of governors and a former governor in a discussion about what is on the horizon for state governments and their leaders. Topics covered a wide range of issues including education, the economy, health reform, energy and transportation.

Monday, December 6

Wait, You Do What!? Exploring Similarities and Differences in Responsibilities of U.S. States and Canadian Provinces:  Sponsored by the International Committee

North American citizens enjoy a unique advantage in that they all operate under a similar (federalist) system of government. That said, each nation is not without its unique characteristics and differences. In this session, CSG's international partners provided participants with a basic understanding of the roles and jurisdictional responsibilities of legislators in Canadian Provinces, in addition to a simple analysis of similarities and differences to U.S. counterparts. Themes emerging from this discussion will be used to shape the agenda for the 2011 CSG North American Summit.