May 09, 2006

Institute to focus on financing of health care

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Some of the nation's leading experts on health care will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale to discuss a new approach to health care financing.

"Consumer-Driven Health Care: Legal and Policy Implications" is the topic for the eighth annual SIH/SIU Health Policy Institute. The institute is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, May 19, in the SIUC law school courtroom. Registration is $25, and includes workshop materials and lunch. Pre-registration is suggested, but registration is open up to the time of the event.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend any of the sessions and the presenters will be available for interviews. To schedule a specific presenter for an interview, contact program coordinator Peg Kowalczyk at 618/453-8008.


Under consumer-driven health care, individuals assume greater responsibility for controlling health care costs through a combination of relatively low-premium, high-deductible insurance and Health Savings Accounts, designed to protect against catastrophic expenses.

"It is the most talked about alternative to our current system of financing health care in this country. It is at the top of the agenda of the current administration. Employers around the country are faced with rapidly increasing benefit costs of employees and they are looking at more attractive options," said W. Eugene Basanta, law professor and co-director of the Center for Health Law and Policy, which is part of the law school.

Basanta and law professor and center co-director Marshall B. Kapp will serve as moderators during the daylong symposium.

The institute will include "some of the very best thinkers and commentators on this in the county on both sides of the issue. We try to have a balanced program so we have strong presentations on both sides of the issue," Basanta said.

A donation from Southern Illinois Healthcare supports the program. Sponsors are the Center for Health Law and Policy, the School of Medicine's Department of Medical Humanities and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Even though the program will appeal primarily to physicians, attorneys, health care professionals and people interested in public policy issues, members of the general public also will benefit from attending the institute, Basanta said.

The Journal of Legal Medicine's annual special symposium issue, due out early next year, will include the Institute's papers.

The event schedule is:

  • 9 a.m.: Welcome and introductions. Law school Dean Peter C. Alexander, Dr. Thomas J. Firestone, president, Southern Illinois Healthcare, and Theodore R. LeBlang, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Humanities, SIU School of Medicine.
  • 9:15 a.m.: "Consumer-Driven Health Care: The Impact on Users, Payers, and Providers." Regina E. Herzlinger, Harvard Business School.
  • 10:30 a.m.: "Consumer-Driven Health Care: Opportunities and Obstacles." John C. Goodman, National Center for Policy Analysis, Dallas, Texas.
  • Lunch Session 11:30 a.m.: "Consumer-Driven, But Nobody Has the Rules of the Road." Todd Sloane, Modern Healthcare Magazine, Chicago.
  • 1 p.m.: "The Health and Financial Implications of Consumer-Driven Health Plans." Sara R. Collins, The Commonwealth Fund, New York, NY.
  • 2 p.m.: "Consumer-Driven Health Care: Assessing the Bottom Line." Arnold J. Rosoff, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Registration is available online at For more information on the institute contact the law school at 618/453-8636.

Achieving excellence in graduate and professional programs, and pursing leadership opportunities to address social and health issues of importance to our region are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.