Health Care Council president announces departure

The Nashville Health Care Council has announced that president Caroline Young will step down from her position this spring.

Young (pictured) has led NHCC for seven years and previously served as vice president since 2004. A four-member committee will lead the council's search for Young's replacement.

"Caroline has played a critical role in ensuring that Nashville's diverse health care community, from emerging leaders to entrepreneurs to established industry veterans, has had opportunities to learn about key issues, grow their businesses and maintain our position as a center of health care expertise and influence," Bill Carpenter, NHCC board chair and chairman and CEO of LifePoint Hospitals, said in a release. "Caroline has helped the Council become a unique national model for driving innovation and for expanding the reach of Nashville-based companies around the world."

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Analysts disagree on 'doc fix'

While panelists at Wednesday's Nashville Health Care Council Wall Street analysis event had plenty to agree on — the need for Medicaid expansion, the likelihood of further hospital and managed care consolidation and the very low chance of an ACA repeal — one topic had the panel divided.

Led by Community Health Systems Chairman, President and CEO Wayne Smith, the discussion ranged from perception to prediction, but the panel of analysts were not in consensus about a long-term "doc fix," a way to better control what physicians are paid by Medicare. While Congress has continued to kick the can in regards to replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate adopted in the late 1990s, each short-term postponement of physician pay cuts has heightened the financial need for a long-term solution. (Click here for some good background from The Washington Post.)

While local analysts Whit Mayo of Robert W. Baird and Frank Morgan of RBC Capital Markets told the event's audience that a permanent solution was likely — Morgan said that, if anything actually gets done in D.C. on this issue this year, it will be a long-term plan — Credit Suisse's Ralph Giacobbe and Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Kevin Fischbeck disagreed.

Fischbeck predicted only a 20 percent likelihood of a long-term fix, because it is politically easy to continually pass the small bills and Giacobbe said political gridlock will continue to be too strong to allow for a real solution.

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Health Care Council Fellows program eyes '14 group

The Nashville Health Care Council has begun recruiting executives to take part in its 2014 Fellows program. The group is looking to bring together about 30 people for eight full-day sessions that will tackle some of the thorniest and most pressing issues facing the industry. The goal is to lay the groundwork for some collaborative approaches to change. Click here for more info on how to apply.

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Health care business accelerator adds HCA as sponsor

Health care technology focused business startup accelerator Healthbox announced today it has added HCA as a financial sponsor of its inaugural Nashville program. Terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

HCA joins Healthbox anchor partner BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the Nashville Health Care Council and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center as a sponsor.

“At HCA, we continually seek out new technologies and models to deliver care at both higher levels of quality and efficiency,” R. Milton Johnson, HCA president and chief financial officer, said in a release. “We’re excited to join the Healthbox community and help develop these early-stage companies here in Nashville.”

Healthbox is led by founder and CEO Nina Nashif.

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