Speakers Proclaim Employers and Patients have Led the Way in by gdf57j

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Carol Stevenson
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      Speakers Proclaim Employers and Patients have Led the Way in
      Healthcare Innovation During Aegis Health Group I³ Conference

       (NASHVILLE, TN – December 17, 2010) – “Taking a proactive approach and not
being bound by traditional channels has made a major difference in my life … the difference
between life and death for me,” says Dave deBronkart, author of Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a
Pig: How an Empowered Patient Beat Stage IV Cancer. The theme of empowerment
permeated the messages shared by both keynote speakers at Aegis Health Group's industry
conference just held in Nashville. Keynote Katie Strong Hays, the executive director of the
Congressional and Public Affairs Division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington
DC, shared her perspective on the business impact of healthcare reform.
       “We were honored to host two diverse and highly relevant speakers at our winter
conference; prime examples of how both employers and patients are shaping the healthcare
industry,” said Aegis CEO Henry Ross.
       Also known as “e-Patient Dave,” deBronkart is a leading spokesperson for what he
calls the “e-Patient Movement.” He defines an e-patient as one who is empowered, engaged,
equipped and enabled. In his keynote presentation “Are You Ready for the e-Patient?”
deBronkart discussed the value to patients of engaging in their health treatments and in
utilizing “e-resources.”
       Known as “Participatory Medicine,” the movement deBronkart espouses shifts
networked patients from a passive role to one where they become responsible drivers of their
health, a role encouraged and valued by providers. According to deBronkart this fast-growing
and innovative approach has resulted in Google hits growing exponentially in “patient
empowerment” categories since 2007. A year ago HealthLeaders named deBronkart to its list
of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better.”
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       Hays’ keynote speech – “Did Congress Cure Our System’s Ailments?” – addressed
how healthcare reform legislation will impact both business and patients. She shared the
chamber’s stand on healthcare issues, including the value of wellness and prevention. She
noted that for the past decade employers have led the way in innovation without the need for
federal intervention. Currently, 53 percent of companies have a health improvement strategy,
and 47 percent are using (or will use) financial penalties to encourage participation.
Employers already are using direct and indirect rewards to gain a healthier, more productive
workforce.
       Since 2004 Hays has represented the organization on numerous coalitions including
the National Coalition on Benefits, the Health Savings Account (HSA) Working Group and
the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare.
       “Aegis Health Group is dedicated to staying on the frontline of healthcare trends, how
they impact our customers and how we can leverage the dynamics to their advantage,” said
Ross. “Both of our speakers underscored the importance of taking an active role in our own
healthcare destinies, whether you’re a hospital executive, business owner or consumer.”

About Aegis Health Group
       For more than 20 years, Aegis Health Group has helped hundreds of hospitals build
lasting relationships with their two most important audiences: favorably insured consumers
and physicians. By targeting local employers, Aegis enables hospitals to attract market share
and grow revenue. Its physician relationship management strategy fosters measurably stronger
and mutually beneficial relationships between hospitals and medical staffs. Further
information is available at www.aegisgroup.com.

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