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MURRAY HARBER: Business leaders discuss employer health, health care reform

Murray Harber

Murray Harber

E mployer health costs continue to rise year after year causing it to be larger line item and concern as the costs are affecting the bottom line. Health systems and providers are also seeing increase costs due to medical inflation and the requirement of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA). All players in the US health system including the consumers, employers, health plans, health providers, and the government is at an all-time breaking point. Having leadership from all players in the system attend and present at the annual Health Care Reform Summit shows the desire to understand each other’s perspective and work together to improve the system as a whole.

 “The 5th Annual Health Summit was the best one yet. The quality of the speakers and participation was outstanding. The leaders from the business community, hospital executives and political leaders that presented and attended are helping to pave the road for the new direction of healthcare. I am encouraged that with this type collaboration and focus on the changes that need to be made, we can hit our goal of quality and value-based healthcare at an affordable cost will be a reality.”

— Billy Sims , Vice-President- Human Resources, Southern Farm Bureau Life and President, Mississippi Business Group on Health

For the Fifth year in a row, the Mississippi Business Group on Health and Mississippi College’s School of Business hosted the annual Health Care Reform Summit which brought together all the players into one room to discuss the issues, current trends, and potential solutions for the problems. Leaders from Mississippi’s’ top companies shared their views and concerns with the health care system and their efforts to provide meaningful benefits to their employees and their families. Leadership from Mississippi’s top health systems also shared their concerns with the ever demanding requirements of the PPACA and the other government regulations. Employers are demanding more value for their investment into the system and the industry is responding by trying to offer more value based services.

National Experts discussed the trends in complying with the PPACA and the need for more population health management by employers, health plans, and healthy system alike. The key to population health management is to keep healthy people healthy, help those with multiple health risk reduce those risks, and support those with health conditions with meaningful treatment and motivation.  Congressman Gregg Harper shared his views and insights into the federal government’s approaches to improve the system for American’s of all ages. He did mention that we need to focus on our next generation of health care consumers while also adopting modern strategies such as tele-health and tele-medicine to reach the population that has minimal resources and access.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about employer health management and wellness programs by attending one of the breakout sessions – one to learn about how to start a wellness strategy and one for those more experienced who are looking for new ways of engagement. Wellness programs get mixed reviews in the research, but the evidence is clear that using best practice approaches to building a comprehensive model will give a positive return on investment and return on value of that investment. The MSBGH has been and will continue to provide learning opportunities for Mississippi employers to understand these best practice and evidence-based strategies.

All in all, the summit is great event every year which brings all the players to discuss issues and share real solutions to ongoing issues in employer health and health care.

“This Annual Symposium focusing on the huge impact that healthcare issues have on our economy provides the business community with an opportunity to better understand these issues and thus confront them and resolve them more effectively. The quality and deep expertise of the presenters that every year we are able to showcase, allows our audience to gain critical insights that they can take to their organizations and enhance their operations. There is no question in my mind that this is one of the premier business events in our state.”

— Marcelo Eduardo PhD, Dean of the School of Business at Mississippi College

» Murray L. Harber is the Executive Director at the Mississippi Business Group on Health.


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One comment

  1. Congratulations to Murray Harber and team for what looks to be a terrific learning experience. With respect to Mr. Harbor’s advocacy for best practices in order to achieve a positive return, I have been commending this month’s editorial in a leading journal as one of the best explanations for Mr. Harbor’s point:


    From a native of the mouth of the Mississippi, best wishes for your continued smart work advancing this important cause in the state of Mississippi.

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