HEALTH & BENEFITS LEADERSHIP
PBGH’s David Lansky, a keynoter at the upcoming Health & Benefits Leadership
Conference™, discusses a few of the more pressing healthcare challenges facing his
member organizations today.
David Lansky has a strong message he’s planning to deliver to those attending his keynote at this
April’s Health and Benefits Leadership
Conference™ in Las Vegas: Employers can
no longer afford to do it alone.
“Consolidation in the marketplace in
terms of both plans and providers means that
employers have to work together to influence
public policy,” says Lansky, president and CEO
of the Pacific Business Group on Health in
San Francisco. “The way health reform plays
out will either make or break our ability to be
In the next few months, Lansky says,
policymakers in Washington are going to
engage in a heated debate about reducing
the federal deficit—
and at the center of
that debate will be
can’t sit on the
sidelines and watch
that, because whatever
decisions happen could
turn out to be either
very detrimental or
very positive,” he says.
For HR and benefits leaders, he adds, that
means playing a more assertive role in the discussion.
Since joining PBGH in 2008, Lansky has become well-acquainted with the scope and magnitude of the healthcare
issues facing HR leaders and their organizations.
A nationally recognized expert in accountability, quality
measurement and health IT, Lansky has served as a board
member or adviser to numerous healthcare programs,
including the National Quality Forum, National Priorities
Partnership, the Joint Commission, the National Patient
Safety Foundation, the Leapfrog Group and the Medicare
Beneficiary Education Advisory Panel.
He is also now purchaser representative on the
federal HIT Policy Committee, serving on its Meaningful
Use Workgroup and chairing its Quality Measures and
Information Exchange Workgroups.
Lansky is also author of more than 30 peer-reviewed
papers on outcomes research and quality measurement
and holds a doctorate in history from the University of
HRE Editor David Shadovitz recently spoke to Lansky
about a few of the points he’s likely to touch on during his
April keynote. Excerpts from that discussion follow.
What’s been your members’ general reaction to
the Affordable Care Act?
The general reaction is that the system as a whole
has to be transformed to achieve long-term affordability.
It doesn’t make us thrilled, but [the ACA] is probably a
necessary step in that direction.
At the same time, the burden of responsibility on
What about the law most troubles your members?
large employers is troubling. Most are not enthusiastic
about the degree to which there have been new costs and
requirements imposed upon them, especially [in areas
where] the benefits aren’t very clear. Still, most shrug and
say, “It’s part of a much larger process that needs to be
undertaken in order to make the system far more rational,
equitable and affordable.”
So it’s a mixed bag for them, though it should be
remembered that our members are very large employers
and are not typical of all employers.
I think it’s particularly the administrative part … and
some of the hidden fees and taxes that eventually will be
imposed. There’s a lot of concern about the Cadillac tax
[for higher-cost health plans] and its implications. I don’t
think they’re questioning the necessity of some of these
programs, but [they’d like to know] that the way it’s being
done [takes the needs of employers into consideration].