Healthcare Reform Updates from IRS and HHS at Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress

The Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress (EHBC) and the Health Care Reform Center & Policy Institute (HCRCPI) will host a “Healthcare Reform Updates” session on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. This session will be presented by Alan Tawshunsky, Principal, Tawshunsky Law Firm; Kevin Knopf, Senior Technician Reviewer, U.S. Department of Treasury – IRS Office of Chief Counsel; and Jeff Wu, Associate Deputy Director for Policy, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), HHS.

This session will provide important insights from the U.S. government departments that drafted and oversee the rules and regulations surrounding the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Attendees will learn the recent changes to the guidance under the Affordable Care Act, have a glimpse to what is on the regulatory horizon and discover which regulations are the most relevant to their business.

“Employers need to know the effects of the Affordable Care Act now more than ever,” said Mr. Tawshunsky. “Knowledge of the law is the primary tool to ensure compliance. This session will provide the most current information, not only on what is required now but what is on the horizon too, and will thereby enable  HR and Insurance professionals to guide their employers and clients and avoid missteps that could lead to costly litigation and penalties.”

Alan Tawshunsky

Alan Tawshunsky is the former Deputy Division Counsel/Deputy Associate Chief Counsel for Employee Benefits at the IRS. In that position, he supervised the attorneys in the National Office of IRS Chief Counsel who work on published guidance, private letter rulings, litigation support and other legal advice relating to qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, executive compensation, health and welfare plans, and employment-related tax credits.  Mr. Tawshunsky is also a former Special Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department.  In both positions, he played a major role in reviewing guidance under the Affordable Care Act.

Kevin Knopf

Kevin Knopf is a Senior Technician Reviewer in the Health and Welfare branch of the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (TEGE), working on guidance implementing the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining the IRS, he was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury since 1987.

Jeff Wu

Jeff Wu is the Associate Deputy Director for Policy at CMS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO).  In his role, Jeff coordinates policy and regulations for many of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance reforms, including the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

“We are happy to be hosting a session with two of the regulatory agencies responsible for the Affordable Care Act,” said Jonathan Edelheit, President of the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress. “We are also excited to give Insurance and Human Resource professionals this level of access to these agencies. It is one thing to read about the regulations from the Federal Register, but it is entirely different hearing it from the agencies themselves and being able to ask questions afterward. This is an opportunity anyone concerned with ACA compliance cannot miss”.

About the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress

The Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress is comprised of seven niche industry tracks: Corporate Wellness Conference, Corporate Fitness & Nutrition Conference, Voluntary Benefits Conference, Self-Funding & Workers Compensation Conference, National Healthcare Reform Conference, Global Benefits Conference and the Health Insurance Exchange Conference.

With initiatives and platforms designed to unite the thriving employer healthcare industry, the Employer EHBC is one of the largest healthcare conferences in the country. Participants and attendees will have the opportunity to take advantage of the hundreds of one-on-one networking opportunities with registrants from all of the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Conferences, providing seven times the traffic and networking for everyone attending the conferences this year.

About the Health Care Reform Center & Policy Institute

The Healthcare Reform Center & Policy Institute (HRCPI), is a non-profit section 501(c)(3) organization and leading educator and influencer in healthcare reform for Human Resource and Insurance Professionals, and provides education throughout the year through live workshops, training and healthcare reform certification.

Get Ready! The 3rd Print Edition of Corporate Wellness Magazine Arrives This Week

The next edition of Corporate Wellness Magazine will be released this week and gives readers an in-depth look into what’s making headlines in the wellness workplace today.

Our lead cover story, Just How Big Will Wearables Get? includes commentary from European and U.S.-based technology analysts on the future of wearable tech devices, in particular, for employers and their employee population.

Case studies from leading employers and insight into how to walk and work on a treadmill designed for the office are also included in the next edition.  Extensive coverage of the 7th Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress in Orlando is featured and highlights several of our prominent speakers and keynote presentation speaker, Olympic Gold Medalist and cancer survivor, Scott Hamilton.  CEO of the Mayo Clinic Dr. John Noseworthy participated in a special Q&A interview with CWM and shared his thought leadership about wellness in the workplace, what makes the Mayo Clinic globally successful, and details about the Clinic’s future plans.

Readers of Corporate Wellness Magazine are invited to participate in the Corporate Health & Wellness Association’s (CHWA) weekly email newsletter and join in the educational fun on #WellnessWednesdays.  To subscribe to the weekly email newsletter, click here.  To view a sample of the magazine, click here.

Provision Health Shares the Future of Cancer Treatment at the EHBC

The Navigating Cancer Care in the Workplace Forum took place yesterday at the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress in Orlando. The event was hosted in partnership with Provision Healthcare and gave employers the chance to discuss cancer treatment in the workplace.

The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality estimated that the direct medical costs for cancer were $88.7 billion in 2011, and have only continued to increase. This figure does not take into account the countless hours employees are on sick leave for treatment nor the quality of life they have afterwards which is invaluable.

In their session, Provision Healthcare brought a wide array of speaker from all sides of the issue including cancer survivors whose life was improved from these treatments to the doctors saving lives and advancing research.

The session began with gold medalist figure skater Scott Hamilton, who shared his story of overcoming cancer. During his fight with cancer, he underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He described his mindset at the time as “You become a champion to do whatever you can to battle this weakness.”

His diagnosis and treatment led him to create the Scott Hamilton CARES foundation to help patients overcome their fear and to help them understand how chemotherapy works. He works as an advocate for Proton Therapy, which he sees as the future of cancer care. “It treats the cancer and preserves the patient.”

Following this was Dr. Marcio Fagundes, who explained how proton therapy works. Dr. Fagundes is a student of Dr. Herman Suit, who brought proton therapy to prominence in the 1970s and worked off of the axiom “There is no advantage whatsoever to irradiating uninvolved tissue.”

Proton therapy is a radiation treatment similar to traditional therapies, but instead of using x-rays that travel in a straight line through the patient, they use protons. These charged particles allow oncologists to control how deep inside the body the energy is released, greatly reducing the amount of unrelated tissue exposed.

Proton therapy treated its first patient as far back 1954, but has seen amazing growth in the last 10 years. A new advancement is Pencil Beam Scanning, enabling oncologists to treat cancers of various sizes and shapes like large hip bone tumors or sarcomas with a minimal amount of radiation surrounding the site and none on the opposite side of the body where the beam was delivered. Reducing the amount of radiation reduces the side-effects the patient experiences, greatly improving their quality of life. As Dr. Fagundes said this therapy “can change everything in terms of quality of life.”

One such person whose life was drastically improved by proton therapy was Don Denton, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. His doctor recommended he have a prostatectomy, but it would have left him permanently impotent and incontinent all with a chance of relapse and a 35 percent chance to be dead in 5 years. All these effects, and Denton’s doctor still called it “the gold standard” of treatment. “My doctor wanted me in diapers and to eliminate my love life.”

He knew that he would never accept a treatment like this, so he began researching alternatives and after five weeks he found proton therapy. To Denton, it seemed too good to be true. “It answered all of my concerns.” After a battle with his insurance company to have them cover it, they refused because they called “experimental”, he was able to receive treatment. His sessions lasted minutes a day, with zero recovery time. He was even able to play golf and carry his own clubs.

With success stories like these where patients have minimal side-effects and an active lifestyle both during and after treatment, how is proton therapy not available everywhere? There are currently only 17 proton therapy centers in the United States, but Scott Hamilton is working to build more to make it available to everyone. More centers will also address the other major problem, the cost. Currently, proton therapy is more expensive than traditional radiation treatments, but creating more supply will help lower costs. You will start seeing more and more success stories stemming from proton therapy in the future, so be on the lookout for the cancer treatment of the future.

Dr. Jim Loehr is a Keynote Speaker for the 7th Annual Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress

In today’s fast-track competitive world of business, the most recognizable leaders look to world-renowned performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr to foster successful achievement through his ground-breaking, science-based energy management training system. The key ingredient to providing a solid foundation for exceptional leadership growth is found in a single trait: character-building.

“I believe the single most important factor in successful achievement, personal fulfillment and life satisfaction is the strength of one’s character,” explained Dr. Loehr. Dr. Loehr will be a keynote speaker for the upcoming 7th Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress in Orlando, Florida, held September 27 – 30. He will present on the topic The Role of Health in Igniting Human Performance & Leadership, where he outlines key ways that you can better manage human energy within your organization to help ignite the performance of your employees, both personally and professionally.
Dr. Loehr is the author of the best-selling book The Only Way to Win and The Power of Full Engagement and co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.

Whether your company realizes it or not, one of its most valuable resources is at risk—human energy. In today’s 24/7 approach to work, employees are quickly reaching a nearly debilitating state, and as they exceed capacity, there will be inevitable consequences to business, body and home life.

By providing leaders with a proprietary program, Dr. Loehr’s training system, which forms the basis of the Human Performance Institute, participants discover that character strength can be built in the same way that muscle strength is built—through energy investment. This system has achieved worldwide recognition and has been featured in publications around the world including the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Business Week, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Success, Fast Company and Omni.

Dr. Loehr possesses a masters and doctorate in psychology, serves on several prestigious scientific boards and is a full member of the American Psychological Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute is the pioneer in delivering a science-based energy management training solution. Dr. Loehr has more than 30 years of applied research in the field of performance psychology and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Nightline with Ted Koppel, the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, the CBS Morning News and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine and law enforcement including Fortune 100 executives, FBI Hostage Rescue Teams, and military Special Forces. Corporate clients of the Institute represent hundreds of Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, The Estee Lauder Companies, Dell, FBI, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo and Citigroup Smith Barney. A sampling of his elite clients from the world of sport include golfers Mark O’Meara and Justin Rose, tennis players Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Aranlxe Sanchez-Vicarlo, boxer Ray Mancini, hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter and Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jensen. See more at