At the recent American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) meeting, the Affordable Care Act and the changes it’s bringing to our country’s healthcare landscape were of course top of mind.
Our correspondent Wil Dubois was on the scene, having already filed reports on exhibit hall activity and the business side of diabetes education. Today, he reports on how the AADE conference handled the topic of healthcare reform — bad news first, then good.
The epic changes in healthcare wrought by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were both an official and unofficial thread that wound its way through nearly every session and hallway conversation at the recent American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual meeting.
On the official docket, sessions ranging from the keynote address to a breakout session entitled “Money Matters” dominated the schedule and more than 10% of the presentations dealt directly with insurance, healthcare reform, or money.
But in every session I attended (from a health literacy session to another on treating diabetic ketoacidosis in the Emergency Room) the sweeping changes in the healthcare landscape came up both in presentations and in the question-and answer sessions that followed. And it didn’t stop there. In shuttle buses, hallways, bathroom lines, and even in bars (we go to no limits to bring you the news) changes in healthcare were on everyone’s lips.
Surprising Dud of a Debate
A scheduled expert debate session held the promise of being the most riveting and informative offering of the official lineup, at least on paper. That session was titled, “Meet the Experts Diabetes Session—Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Obstacles,” and the expert participants were: Lucille Beseler of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Pamela Cipriano of the American Nurses Association, Ardis Hoven of the American Medical Association, and Jonathan Marquess of the American Pharmacy Cooperative. AADE President Joan Bardlsey served as ring master, moderating the session.
This brought together representatives of some of the most powerful doctor, pharmacist, dietician, and nurse organizations in the country. These are groups that in theory have many common interests, but have historically butted heads when their members’ self-interests have collided. It should have been fodder for a lively discussion, but honestly I cannot recall being more bored in my entire life.