Mayo Clinic to host inaugural National Symposium on Health Care Reform in May

The Mayo Clinic National Symposium on Health Care Reform will bring together leaders from all sides of the issue May 21--23 as the first step of a nationwide, long-term project to help shape the future of health care. National experts in health care, public policy, business and patient advocacy will gather in Rochester, Minn., to identify innovative and tangible solutions to the complex issues of health care reform, while firmly placing the needs of the patient at the center of the discussion.

This symposium, unlike others, will be highly participatory, nonpartisan and solution-focused. Leaders of national health care organizations, advocacy groups, associations, employers, insurers, providers and policy makers have been invited. Attendees will sit with key stakeholders and build innovative recommendations for reform.

"The need for health care reform is clear," says Denis Cortese, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, who will open the symposium. "Mayo Clinic steadfastly holds to our primary value that 'the needs of the patient come first.' Our unique strength lies in bringing together leading medical experts from diverse fields to find the best integrated solutions for patients' complex health concerns.

"In similar fashion, we intend to use this strength to bring experts in health care, public policy, business and other disciplines together to identify solutions to the complex problems of health care reform," he says.

These healthcare reform issues will be discussed in panel format. The panel topics and the current list of panelists includes:

  • "Overspent, Overdrawn, Overwhelmed: Reducing Health Care Costs" explores the inequity in access to resources, disparity in quality and endless paperwork. Panelists are Roger Feldman, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Gary Kaplan, M.D., Virginia Mason Medical Center; Eugene Litvak, Ph.D., Boston University; and John Wennberg, M.D., M.P.H., Dartmouth College. Moderator is Susan Dentzer, Jim Lehrer Newshour.

  • "Do We Know What We Know? The Universal Sharing" discusses how well health care organizations are sharing and incorporating new scientific knowledge into their daily care of patients. Panelists are Stephen Case, Revolution Healthcare; Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality; Stephen Swensen, M.D., Mayo Clinic; and Marina Weiss, Ph.D., March of Dimes. Moderator is Sanjay Gupta, M.D., CNN.
  • "The Uninsured and Underinsured: Fixing the Holes in the Safety Net" focuses on the continued concern of uninsured and underinsured patients. The financial burden is high and for those unable to pay, expenses shift to providers, employers and taxpayers; these costs drive up insurance and health care costs. Panelists are Stuart Butler, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation; Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health; David Kendall, Progressive Policy Institute; Victor Fuchs, Ph.D., Stanford University; and Louis Sullivan, M.D., Morehouse School of Medicine. Moderator is Joanne Silberner, health policy correspondent with National Public Radio.
  • "Will the Rise of Health Care Costs Cripple U.S. Business?" takes on the economic implications of rising health care costs for U.S. business and industry. Panelists are Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson Companies; and an additional panelist may be named. Moderator is Carole Simpson, retired ABC News senior correspondent.
  • "The Bottom Line: Paying for Quality Health Care in a Changing Economy" explores how U.S. health care organizations can work with insurers and the government to develop high-quality, patient-centered care that uses best practices to save lives and money. Panelists are Bruce Bradley, General Motors; Denis Cortese, M.D., Mayo Clinic; Elliott Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., Dartmouth Medical School; Jerome Grossman, M.D., Harvard University; and George Halvorson, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Moderator is Ceci Connolly, Washington Post.
  • "We Can Do Better A Chronic Care Model That Works for Everyone" discusses the flaws in our health care system that become even more evident when examining how we care for people with chronic illnesses. Panelists are Amy Comstock, Parkinson's Action Network; Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., Vanderbilt University; John W. McDonald III, M.D., Ph.D., Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Nesse, M.D., Mayo Clinic. Moderator is Judy Woodruff, broadcast journalist and former CNN anchor.

At the end of each panel discussion, symposium attendees will identify priority solutions that will serve as the focus of a series of policy forums that will form around the highest priorities identified. The forums will present recommendations at subsequent symposia.


Cost of the symposium is $750. Space is limited. For more information or to register, see the Web site at

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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