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Helping businesses make sense of health reform, future of employee coverage

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The MidJersey Chamber of Commerce will explore the future of health care while helping businesses figure out how to comply with the Affordable Care Act during a daylong conference Sept. 10 in New Brunswick.

Douglas Forrester, founder of Princeton-based Integrity Health, which provides employers with comprehensive health care for their employees using the medical home concept, will deliver the 9 a.m. keynote address at the conference at the Hyatt Regency.

Chamber CEO Bob Prunetti said the conference will give employers a perspective on "the next generation of health care. I believe the ACA is just a transition to where we are going with health care delivery."

He said the conference will introduce employers to "innovations that are coming down the pike in the next five to 10 years — things they ought to be thinking about when making decisions about their company and the kind of health care benefits they will be providing." He said these innovations will have an impact "on the general well-being of their employees, and also as a recruitment tool."

Among the panelists will be David Gross, executive director of the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, a joint venture between the Atlantic Health System, in Morristown, and the Valley Health System, in Ridgewood. The ACO is a partnership among hospitals and doctors that seeks to improve quality and lower the cost of care for Medicare patients.

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Conference panelists include Tom Considine, chief executive of Magnacare, which provides self-insured health plans to employers; Dr. Ruth Perry, executive director of the Trenton Health Team; Dr. David Shulkin, president of Morristown Medical Center; Dr. Nirmala Chetty, founder of the Princeton-based telemedicine company Slayback Health; and Gene McGuire, chief marketing officer of Wellness Coaches USA.

During the afternoon workshop, businesses will get a step-by-step walk through the ACA from Sherise Ritter, of the accounting and consulting firm Mercadien Group. Oct. 1 marks the launch of the ACA's new online marketplace, where health insurance companies will sell government-subsidized health plans to small businesses and individuals.

Prunetti said employers will receive a workbook and get a detailed tutorial on the ACA during the workshop.

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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