Business Health Agenda
Why Attend
Communications Track



Click on the links below to go directly to that day's agenda

Wednesday   |   Thursday   |   Friday

Printable Consolidated Agenda

Communications Track
Innovation Track
Policy Track


Wednesday, March 29 — Employer-Only Pre-Conference

11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Benefit Communications Pre-Conference
(Open to Employers Only)
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Benefit Communications Pre-Conference Lunch and Kick-off Speaker
(Open to Employers Only)
Exploring the Behavioral Science Principles Behind Engagement

How do we achieve genuine employee engagement when it comes to their health and related care decisions? Dr. Vic Strecher will relate behavioral science principles of engagement to real-world approaches for employers: approaches that range from digital communications to organizational behaviors. He’ll also make sure that you’re, well... engaged.

Victor J. Strecher, Ph.D, MPH, Professor and Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan School of Public Health
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions 1
(Choose one of the Breakout Sessions below)
  • 1A Workshop: Designing a Personalized Communication Strategy

    Personalized messaging is gaining enormous momentum in the health and benefits space as the gold standard for achieving authentic employee engagement. However, employers consistently cite barriers to implementation such as acquiring the appropriate data feeds, employee privacy concerns and limited budgeting capabilities. Learn from an expert consultant on how to design a smart and personalized communication strategy that works for your organization.

    • Renya Spak, Partner, Health Innovation Team, Mercer
    • Antonio Poglianich, Partner, Communications, Mercer
  • 1B Benchmarking: Benefits in Your Pocket: Delivering Content to Smart Phones

    Employees are increasingly looking for ways to receive and digest information faster. Learn from tech-savvy employers on how they leverage mobile platforms to ensure that their employees can access benefits and wellness information where and when they need it.

    • Julie Ewry, Manager, Benefit Communications & Training, HCR ManorCare
    • Joanne Nieves, Manager, Communications, Total Rewards, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    • Tom Sondergeld, Vice President Global Benefits & Mobility, Walgreens Boots Alliance
  • 1C Benchmarking: High-Impact Communications to Emphasize and Address Management of Big-Ticket Health Conditions

    Employers are progressively implementing — in the name of lower costs and a healthier workforce — condition-specific platforms that aim to impart strong, evidence-based health guidance to employees. Such initiatives involve segmenting employee communications by health condition or disease state (e.g., diabetes, musculoskeletal, pregnancy, cancer) and targeting messages accordingly. Learn how employers are utilizing new, high-touch platforms to steer employees toward a wiser, more efficient path to health.

    • Melissa Fitzgerald, Manager Integrated Health Plans, Honeywell
    • Leslie Pilliod, Director, Pay & Benefits Engagement, Target Corporation
    • Donna Shenoha, Business Initiatives Consultant, Benefits Strategy and Planning, Wells Fargo & Company
  • 1D Workshop: Leveraging Design Think Principles to Maximize Employee Engagement

    Ever thought about how you might redesign or restructure the employee experience in a way that would generate more desired results? Whether this means increased open enrollment numbers or smarter, more cost effective health care decisions, there is a creative solution to getting there. "Design Think" can be a powerful approach to reshaping employee engagement. Learn what it’s all about!

    • Stacey Babyak, Senior Consultant, Engagement, Conduent Human Resources Service, Conduent
    • Betsy Woods Brooks, Principal, Engagement Practice, Conduent
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions 2
(Choose one of the Breakout Sessions below)
  • 2A Benchmarking: To Creep or Not to Creep: Pushing the Envelope on Employee Engagement

    How "creepy" is "too creepy?" Concerned that your highly personalized communications might enter "Big Brother" territory? Hear from a spectrum of employers – some who have "pushed the envelope" and others who have "played it safe" personalizing communications successfully within the confines of their organizational structure – on implementing a personalized messaging strategy and employee reaction.

    • Ben Jackson, Assistant Vice President - Benefits, AT&T
    • Deirdra Kumar, U.S. Benefits Design & Strategy Leader, IBM Corporation
  • 2B Benchmarking: The HR Communicator’s Diary Exposed: Lessons Learned from the A-Ha Moments, Successes, Trials and Tribulations of HR Messaging

    There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to HR messaging, nor are there simple steps to achieving effective engagement. Communication success stories are often born from months of planning, some trial and error, enlightening mistakes, adaptation and repositioning; others from a single haphazard move that triggers the wonderfully unexpected. Hear your peers discuss past HR communication challenges, surprises, lessons learned, successes and failures. Participants will discuss crisis management tactics and tips for recovery when HR messaging goes awry.

    • Becky Atkeison, Director of Enterprise Health and Well-being, FedEx Services
    • Amy O'Neill, AVP & Director, Health and Welfare Programs, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • 2C Workshop: Targeting Based on Employee Preference: Why It’s Important and How to Get Started

    While behavior change messages can be incredibly influential, lasting results are hard to come by. In the end, employees are most likely to take action and stay engaged when given the option to do so on their own terms. As such, employers are exploring ways to deliver content that is reflective of employee preference. Learn how to reach your workforce and get results based on communicating what’s relevant, desired and convenient to the individual employee.

    Led by Eric Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer, RedBrick Health Corporation
  • 2D Benchmarking: Leverage Social Media to Better Engage Your Workforce

    Social media has taken the world by storm. Employers have tapped into its power to stay connected with their workforce, promote health and benefits initiatives, and push out messages that are timely, relevant and can be discussed and responded to in real time. Discuss how to take your social media strategy to the next level.

    • Dominic Lorusso, Director, Health Partnership, Consumer Reports
    • Kevin Winterfield, Director, Social Media, Consumer Reports
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Preconference Wrap-up Panel

Hear from the experts on how communication and engagement strategies are expected to evolve by 2020

  • Stacey Babyak, Sr. Consultant, Engagement, Conduent Human Resources Service, Conduent
  • Betsy Woods Brooks, Principal, Engagement Practice, Conduent
  • Dominic Lorusso, Director, Health Partnership, Consumer Reports
  • Antonio Poglianich, Partner, Communications, Mercer
  • Renya Spak, Partner, Health Innovation Team, Mercer
  • Kevin Winterfield, Director, Social Media, Consumer Reports
  • Eric Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer, RedBrick Health Corporation


Wednesday, March 29 — Open to All Attendees

3:00 pm - 6:00 p.m.
Conference Registration
(Open to All Attendees)
2:00 pm - 6:00 p.m.
Internet Cáfe
3:30 pm - 4:00 p.m.
Refreshment Break
4:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Conference Kick-off & President's Welcome

Hear from our organization's leader on the exciting 3-day conference, and how you can get the best of your time in Washington, DC.

Open to All Attendees
Brian Marcotte, President and CEO, National Business Group on Health
4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Plenary Session
Where Will We Be in 2020?

The year 2020 will present many challenges and opportunities for employers: possible ACA excise tax implementation, a contentious presidential election and the maturation of new disruptors like personalized health and ACOs. A panel of economists, policy experts and health care leaders will paint the picture of health care in 2020 to set the stage for Business Health Agenda.

  • Bob Kocher, M.D., Partner, Venrock
  • Farzad Mostashari, M.D., Founder and CEO, Aledade Inc.
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
5:30 pm - 6:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception
6:30 pm - 7:15 p.m.
Opening Dinner
7:15 pm - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Address
Judy Verhave, Executive Vice President & Global Head of Compensation and Benefits, BNY Mellon; Chair, National Business Group on Health
7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Opening Headliner Address Session
The Political Outlook for 2017–2020

On the tails of an unprecedented election season, hear from Washington DC insider Amy Walter on what Americans and employers face with the new Republican-controlled Congress and Trump Administration. Walter will recap the 2016 election with candor and humor, detailing the course of the campaign and why it matters for future elections.

Amy Walter, Contributor, Meet the Press; National Editor, Cook Political Report
8:30 pm - 9:30 p.m.
After-Dinner Reception and Networking Bar


Thursday, March 30 — Open to All Attendees

6:00 am - 7:00 a.m.
DC Monuments 5K Run/Walk
Grand and Capitol Foyers
45-minute Circuit Training Session
Penn Ave. Terrace
7:30 am - 6:00 p.m.
Internet Cáfe
7:30 am - 6:00 p.m.
7:30 am - 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Morning Headliner
Analytics Will Change Everything: Big Data’s Role in Health Care 2020

The promise of big data – what does the future hold? More effective first-line cancer treatments. Improved physician workflow to reduce skyrocketing hospital costs. Reducing the number of unnecessary tests performed worldwide. Fine-tuning the amount of medications delivered to patients to reduce waste.

Hear from the head of IBM Watson Health on what’s on the horizon for big data, and how employers can join the partner ecosystem driving improvement in the health care system.

Deborah DiSanzo, General Manager, IBM Watson Health
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Plenary Session 2
3 Challenging Health Areas: Insights and Actions from the 2017 NBGH/Aon Hewitt Consumer Health Mindset Survey

In the 2017 Consumer Health Mindset, we took a deep dive into three hot topics that are often challenging for employers—how to hyper-personalize the health experience in a credible way, how to guide employees and their families when they’re dealing with a mental illness or high stress, and how to help them navigate the complexities of the health system when they need a lot of care. To show how they’re turning these insights into action, several employers will share their experiences and learnings in these three areas.

Ron Drayton, Director, Global Benefits, General Mills, Inc.
Joann Hall Swenson, Partner, Aon Hewitt
Lilly Wyttenbach, Global Wellness Manager, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions 1
(Choose one of the Concurrent Sessions below)
1A - Communication/Engagement: Let's Get Personal!

Employers, along with their partners, are progressively looking to personalize — based on preference and even personal health information — messaging and resources to better suit the individual employee. Learn from three employers — varying in approach — on how they got started on this personalization journey, employee reception and outcomes of their efforts.

  • Adam Glauberg, Director of Global Health Services in the Americas, Johnson & Johnson
  • Erik Sossa, Vice President, Global Benefits, PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Lisa Woods, Senior Director, Health Care Benefits, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • Theresa Monti, Vice President, Corporate Total Rewards, The Kroger Company (Facilitator)
1B - Policy/ACA: Will Employees Start Paying Taxes on Health Benefits?

The Affordable Care Act established a “Cadillac” tax on the cost of employer-sponsored health benefits above a certain threshold and is slated to take effect in 2020. As an alternative, some in Congress propose a cap on the federal income tax exclusion for health benefits. Both options would have far-reaching effects on the affordability and availability of health care for employees and employers. Hear from government officials and employers on the practical implications of taxing employer-sponsored health benefits.

  • Colin Goldfinch, Senior Health Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)
  • Betsy Hall, Director, Global Public Policy, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; David E. Scherb Executive Health Policy Fellow, National Business Group on Health
  • Robert Neis, Benefits Tax Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • J.D. Piro, Compliance/ACA Expert, Senior Vice President, Aon
  • Craig Dolezal, Senior Vice President, Health, Aon (Facilitator)
1C - Innovation in Health Care Delivery: Employers Changing the Game

Employers influence the health care delivery system in several ways, but often feel limited in their ability to affect significant change for their own workforce. Hear from a panel of employers leading the way in benefits delivery innovation as they discuss approaches like virtual high value networks, "build your own" networks and revolutionizing the health care experience for the employee.

  • Milt Ezzard, Sr. Director of Global Benefits, Activision Blizzard
  • Lesley Leiserson, Director, Benefits, The Home Depot
  • Melissa Vaughn, Director, Health & Wellness, The Schwan Food Company
  • Shawn Leavitt, Senior Vice President, Total Rewards, Comcast Corporation (Facilitator)
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Conference Luncheon and Awards Presentation
14th Annual Helen Darling Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing
Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award
12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 2
(Choose one of the Concurrent Sessions below)
2A - Policy/ACA: FAQs with the Agencies

Join a panel featuring current and former staffers from the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, and experts on employer-sponsored health coverage. Employers will learn about agency interactions with employer-sponsored plans. Meanwhile, audience members will be able to share their concerns and ask pressing questions in this interactive session.

  • Kevin Knopf, J.D., Senior Technician Reviewer, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, TEGE, Health and Welfare
  • Lisa Lowenstein, J.D., Associate, Groom Law Group, Chartered
  • Malcolm Slee, J.D., Of Counsel, Groom Law Group, Chartered
  • Joel Wood, J.D., Of Counsel, Groom Law Group, Chartered
2B - Communication/Engagement: The Potential (and Risks) of Using Data to Drive Health Engagement

Employers want to engage employees “just-in-time” – at the point a health care decision is about to be made. Using data to mine individuals who could potentially be ripe for targeted communications is one option, but highly debated among employers and their partners. Hear from communication experts on how to tap into the power of data to communicate and engage employees, as well as discuss the potential downfalls of this approach.

  • Mike Adams, Senior Director, Employee Benefits, Dean Foods
  • Maura Cawley, Partner, Mercer
  • Milt Ezzard, Sr. Director of Global Benefits, Activision Blizzard
  • Sally Welborn, Senior Vice President Benefits, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Introducer)
2C - Innovation in Pharmacy Delivery: Value-Based Purchasing for Drugs

We often hear "you get what you pay for." However, that statement seems vastly oversimplified in a multifaceted drug industry where the cost of a single medication can be dictated and influenced by a number of factors. A value-based purchasing strategy, which ties payment to the manufacturer with drug efficacy, is touted as the next big solution to the pharmacy expenditure crisis. Watch experts discuss and debate the merits of value-based purchasing and its ability to control health care costs for the long term.

  • Rena Conti, Ph.D, Departments of Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology and Health Studies, The University of Chicago
  • Sarah Emond, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
  • Surya Singh, M.D., Corporate Vice President and CMO, CVS/Specialty, CVS Health
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions 3
(Choose one of the Concurrent Sessions below)
3A - Communication/Engagement: Smart Engagement: The Key to Better Health Outcomes

There's "engagement," and then there's "smart engagement." The latter has been shown to yield superior health outcomes and substantial cost savings for employers and the employee patients that make up their workforce. Hear from two employers and their partners who have piloted smart engagement approaches. By attending this session, participants will discover what smart engagement looks like — technology-driven, highly informed, personalized guidance through the health care system.

  • Anne Marie Aponte, Senior Vice President, Operations, Accolade
  • Michael DeSimone, Vice President of Product and Marketing, Best Doctors
  • Andy Rosa, Director, Corporate HR, Benefits & Workforce Health, AmeriGas
  • Karleen Stephens, Manager, Wellbeing and Disability Services, Steelcase, Inc.
3B - Innovation in Health Care Delivery: What Will Health Plans Look Like in 2020?

Competing with startups and savvy engagement solutions, national health plans are also transforming to prepare for health care in the year 2020. Hear from the major health plans about their big innovations launching in the next three years, and participate in an interactive audience town hall to dig into employer priorities for health plans going forward.

  • Patrick Courneya, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente
  • Paul McBride, CEO Accountable Care Solutions, Aetna
  • Craig Samitt, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Anthem
3C - Innovation in Health Care Delivery: The Promise of Physician-led ACOs Delivering on Cost and Quality

Employers have long expressed frustration with the skyrocketing costs and slow movement of hospitals to bring about real change in the health care system. One strategy to push the system is for employers to steer employees to accountable care organizations (ACOs) designed around and led by physician groups. Hear from a panel of provider experts and one health plan on the benefits of these ACOs and how an employer can drive employees to these new provider models.

  • Jack Towsley, Senior Vice President for Health Care Delivery, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
  • Jeff Butler, Chairman & CEO, Privia Health LLC
  • Paul Martino, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, VillageMD
3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Refreshment Break
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Plenary Session 3
Real Employer Actions to Address Behavioral Health and Promote Emotional Well-Being

Employers are revisiting the benefits and programs needed to help employees and dependents struggling with a behavioral health condition — substance abuse, depressive disorders, anxiety, ADHD, autism and others — to ensure that care is accessible, timely, evidence-based and complies with mental health parity laws. Many employers are looking to shift their culture to one that promotes resiliency and reduces stress. Hear from employers aggressively managing their mental health benefits and programs to achieve better outcomes and overall happier workforce.

Jennifer Gentry, Benefits Program Manager, Americas Benefits & Global Wellness Programs, Intuit
Katie Kirkland, Health and Wellness Strategy Manager, Southern Company
Lois Lourie, Vice President, Health and Welfare Benefits, AbbVie
Alisa Trugerman, North American Behavioral Health Practice Leader and Senior Consultant, Willis Towers Watson
Marleece Barber, M.D., Director, Health and Wellness and Chief Medical Officer, Lockheed Martin Corp. (Facilitator)
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Afternoon Headliner
Pardon the Interruption: Brian Marcotte and David Wichmann

Join us for a fast-paced tour of the big issues shaping health care's tomorrow! In a new and different format, Brian Marcotte, CEO of the Business Group, and Dave Wichmann, President of UnitedHealth Group, take on the changing landscape and its implications for health and people leaders. Formulated around your questions, this session promises to be a stimulating end to our second day together.

Brian Marcotte, President and CEO, National Business Group on Health
David Wichmann, President, UnitedHealth Group
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Networking Reception


Friday, March 31 — Open to All Attendees

7:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Internet Cáfe
8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions 4
(Choose one of the Concurrent Sessions below)
4A - Communication/Engagement: Concierge as an Engagement Strategy

Increasingly, employers are implementing an advocate approach, whereby employees are connected with an individual trained to serve as their health care confidant and navigator through the complex health care system. This resource, or liaison, can be a personal health assistant, a concierge, or even a medical professional. Such models have demonstrated positive outcomes, indicating that "hand-holding" does result in better health care decisions. Is concierge a strategy for your company? Hear from three large employers to learn more.

  • Arielle Bogorad, Senior Director, Worldwide Benefits, Wellness and Fitness, Cerner Corporation
  • Ann Otley, Director of Employee Benefits, HCR ManorCare
  • Ann Marie Odrobina, Group Vice President, Employee Benefits, M&T Bank
  • Tom Oksanen, Vice President, Corporate HR & Administration, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (Facilitator)
4B - Innovation in Health Care and Pharmacy Delivery: Breaking Through the Hospital Walls: Getting Care at Home and Other Non-Traditional Sites of Care

Employers and employees alike are perplexed by "facility fees" which are, in part, making hospital care unsustainable. Additionally, hospital care can be inconvenient for employees, leaving room for improvement in putting employees at the center of the health care experience. Hear from employers working to change the health care experience for their employees, by contracting with providers to deliver more care at home and at convenient, consumer-centric centers.

  • Don Peterson, CEO, Infusion Express
  • Chris Stenzel, Vice President, Business Development and Innovation, Kaiser Permanente
  • Gary Jacobs, EVP, Strategic Partnerships, CareCentrix
  • Brent Pawlecki, M.D., Chief Health Officer, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Facilitator)
4C - Policy/ACA: The Future of Wellness Programs: Will Incentives Survive?

The rules for wellness incentives have tightened in recent years, in part due to recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations and enforcement actions. Meanwhile, potential changes to the ACA provisions governing wellness programs may also affect program design. Join this session to hear EEOC representatives and employers discuss how they expect incentive designs to change in the coming years and how you can adapt your wellness offerings to reflect the latest wellness design trends and regulatory environment.

  • Kevin Covert, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Human Resources, Honeywell
  • Christopher Kuczynski, Assistant Legal Counsel and Director, ADA/GINA Policy Division, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
9:20 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
Closing Headliner
The Future of Consumer Health: 2020 and Beyond

Significant change is afoot in health care — delivery system transformation; consumer centric and personalized outreach; accelerated technology development — much of it we can see and anticipate over a three to four year horizon. But what does the landscape look like when we peer even further into the future? What are the cultural, attitudinal, technological and economic developments that will likely impact consumers and the health system tomorrow? This session combines provocative foresight — grounded in changes evident today — from Kantar Futures (formerly The Futures Company) with interactive consideration of the implications for large employers.

Don Abraham, President Of Consulting Services, Kantar Futures
10:20 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:40 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Closing Session Roundtable
The Pharmacy Supply Chain Model: Its Impact on Employers and Consumers

With specialty pharmacy topping out as the number one driver of increasing health care expenditure, employers are looking to shake things up beyond traditional contracting agreements with pharmacy benefit managers. Could employers be more aggressive in demanding performance from the PBMs? How about leveraging "outside the box" strategies and unique vendors? Hear from two employers who are passionate about changing the PBM model and learn what you can do when you return to the office.

  • Josh Golden, Area Senior Vice President, Solid Benefit Guidance, a Division of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.
  • Sheila Savageau, Director, Global Benefits, General Motors
  • Harry Spencer, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits, JetBlue Airways
Grand Prize Drawing
Boxed Lunch
(Immediately following the final session)

Conference Website Sponsor



Conference Sponsors

Contact Us