The Torch

Healthcare Panel

Ruben Muniz, Staff Writer

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The Student Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives hosted the Fall 2010 Healthcare Panel of St. John’s University, sponsored by Tau Upsilon Alpha, Alpha Zeta Chapter, and The College of Professional Studies on Nov. 22.

 

Dozens of students, faculty, and healthcare industry professionals attended the forum in Bent Hall. This year the focus of the panelists was the recently passed Federal Healthcare Reform Bill and the impact it will have in the future. 

 

The panel consisted of five professionals in the healthcare industry and representatives from the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

 

Denise Hopkins, St. John’s Staten Island Campus’ Dean of Student Life, said she was grateful for the amount of student involvement throughout the night. 

 

“I’m very impressed with our student leaders and their ability to host this kind of event,” she said. “I think it’s wonderful, and would love to see more of these kinds of event happen on campus.”

 

Jenny Lopez, a senior health services administration major at St. John’s said the panel helped to clarify the bill.

 

“I used to watch the news about the healthcare reform but I never really understood it,” she said. “Now I do.”

 

The first speaker of the panel was Dr. Joan Tropnas, an assistant professor, and director of the Health and Human Services Program at St. John’s University. Dr. Tropnas’ speech was entitled “Human Service Professionals and the Community.”

 

One statistic that Dr. Tropnas brought to the forefront was that 32 million people now have health insurance because of the new bill. She predicted the reform bill’s effects on the future would be “positive, on a local, statewide and national level.”

 

Adam K. Weinstein, FACHE, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Compliance of New York Hospital in Queens, was the second panelist speaker of the night. 

 

His speech, entitled “Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Compliance in Hospitals,” discussed the role of Corporate Compliance programs in the healthcare system.

 

Corporate Compliance programs must make sure that major healthcare systems and facilities, such as hospitals, are mindful of their spending of government funds, and not wasteful, Weinstein said. 

 

Mr. Weinstein also spoke about new “whistleblower” laws in the healthcare industry. These laws encourage and reward the report of wasteful spending and unsatisfactory service of one healthcare office by others, he said. 

 

The third panelist of the night was Jeffrey Alter, CEO of the Northeast Region of United Healthcare health insurance. His speech was entitled “Insurance: Impact of Healthcare Reform Bill.” 

 

Mr. Alter focused on the financial aspect of the healthcare reform bill’s expansion in coverage. 

 

He also pointed out that for New York state residents not many changes will come, since the state of New York has had many of the features of the healthcare reform bill in place for 10 or more years. 

 

According to Alter, only two percent of diabetics in the United States are keeping up with their medications and treatments. 

 

Phyllicia Perry, an undergraduate Education major in her sophomore year at St. John’s, said she was surprised to learn about some of the statistics that were mentioned throughout the night. 

 

“That’s shocking,” she said about the low amount of people who actually take care of their diabetes medication.

 

The fourth panelist was  Dr.Salvatore Volpe, President of the New York State Chapter Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society, as well as the New York City Department of Health Primary Care Information Project Clinical Champion.

 


Dr. Volpe spoke of the impact of Electronic Healthcare Records and how the new law will impact them.

 

The final speaker of the night was Susan Santoro, FACHE, Senior Manager of Nexera Inc., a branch of the Greater New York Hospital Association. Her speech focused on the effect the healthcare reform bill would have on the healthcare industry of the United States as a whole. 

 

Santoro discussed the need to raise $597 billion in funding to account for the new amenities of the reform bill.

 

 

Mica Javier, a senior studying Health Services Administration, had positive feedback regarding the Fall 2010 Healthcare Panel. 

 

“[The Healthcare Panel] made me more aware of how legislation impacts the reform bill,” Javier said.

 

Nathalie Perez, a 2010 alumna from St. John’s, was surprised regarding the opinions of the panelists. 

 

“It was nice to have the physicians point of view, because I thought they would have a negative outlook on the reform,” she said.

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Healthcare Panel