The Business of Healthcare in Mississippi

By Murray L. Harber and Matt Ginn

The worlds of employer health and healthcare providers continue to move toward greater alignment and the two business perspectives are working to provide more value in care delivery and payment. Employers, insurance brokers and consultants, and plans will meet on the campus of Mississippi College for the 8th Annual Healthcare Summit on October 10th 2017 to hear the latest national trends in health-related employee benefits including health, pharmacy, along with adoption of value-based benefit and value-based care initiatives in Mississippi and across the USA. The summit is a collaboration between Mississippi College’s School of Business and the Mississippi Business Group on Health to discuss the cost, management, and planning of the business of healthcare and employer well-being.


The day will begin with Dr. Bruce Sherman, Medical Director for Employers Health Coalition in Columbus, Ohio where he will discuss national trends in health and pharmacy benefits in employers and health plans. He will be followed by a presentation on understanding your pharmacy benefit program and ways to expand the value of this investment. Speciality Pharmacy has been a rising cost for several years as site of care costs, bio-similars, and added layers of margin are driving these increases.

During the day, employers, health plans, and health providers will share ideas and specific solutions that they are incorporating into their process to help improve the value of their investments into health and well-being. There will be a group of employers, healthcare executives, and medical professionals who will discuss research on population health, clinical integration, and alternate payment models. Also discussed during the day will be information on how wages affects healthcare and health plan utilization.

The Mississippi Business Group on Health will be sharing information about it’s Health Data Set and the ways it will help support and employer’s understanding of their health costs and identify areas for improvement by benchmarking with other Mississippi employers. Members of the MSBGH have access to members-only resources such as the Preferred Vendor List, “How to” Toolkits, and resources for healthy lifestyle, healthcare consumerism, condition management, and well-being.


The topic of Opioid abuse is a growing concern for employers, law enforcement, and healthcare providers. A panel will discuss the solutions that employers can do to provide policy, programs, and supportive resources for the various aspects of the Opioid epidemic.

Gaye Fortner, CEO of HC 21 will discuss how their coalition is working to provide education and how they have used their data warehouse to identify concerns which helped to reduce risk and improve outcomes.


The summit will offer Human Resource (SHRM), Insurance, and Healthcare Executive continuing education credits for those professions. Collaborative partners for the summit include the State Chapter of SHRM, Capitol Area SHRM, Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers, the Mississippi Association of Health Underwriters, and the Mississippi Association of Health Plans.

The aim is to have all perspectives of the system — payers, plans, providers, and purchasers — together to learn from experts, hear some success stories, and provide a venue for dialogue about ways to improve the system in Mississippi. We hope that you will join us for a day of learning and discussing ways to improve the business of healthcare in Mississippi.

To learn more about the 8th Annual Healthcare Summit including registration and sponsorship please visit the or the events section at

Murray L. Harber, Executive Director
Mississippi Business Group on Health

Matt Ginn, Manager, Communication,
Training and Health Promotion