National Conference of State Legislatures - The Forum for America's Ideas

2013 Legislative Summit

Preliminary Agenda and Updated Daily

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Monday, August 12, 2013


7:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Building a Lasting Health System in Rural America

Georgia World Congress Center Level 3-B309

Nearly 20 percent of the nation's population lives in rural areas, but only about 11 percent of the nation's physicians practice in these areas. This half day preconference session will focus on state efforts to build a lasting health care system in rural America. Hear from leading experts on innovative strategies to connect rural people with providers, expanding the use of technology, and creating policies, programs and incentives to recruit and retain a rural health care workforce.

7:30 AM -- 8:00 AM
Breakfast and Networking

8:00 AM -- 8:15 AM
Welcome and Introductions


  • Joshua Ewing, NCSL
  • Paul Moore, Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maryland

8:15 AM -- 9:15 AM
Recruiting and Retaining a Rural Health Care Workforce

There are not enough health care providers in rural areas of the country.  This is due to a number of factors, including declining interest in primary care, an aging health care workforce, and increased demand for services as the rural population grows and more people gain insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  Hear how states and rural communities are overcoming these challenges to recruit and retain a rural health care workforce.   


  • John Wheat, Rural Scholars Program, University of Alabama
  • Charles F. Owens, Georgia Department of Community Health/Office of Rural Health Services
  • Amy Brock Martin, Department of Health Services Policy and Management, University of South Carolina and South Carolina Rural Health Research Center

9:15 AM -- 10:15 AM
Overcoming Distance -- Innovative Strategies to Connect Rural People with Providers

Compared to urban areas with many provider networks, large hospitals and greater access to technologies, rural areas often have a small number of independent practitioners who cover wide geographics areas and the nearest primary care practitioner, specialist or hospital may be hours away.  For this reason, states and rural communities are experimenting with innovative strategies to overcome distance and build an effective health care system.   


  • Haley E. Lofink, School-Based Health Alliance, Washington, D.C.
  • Gary Wingrove, Mayo Clinic Medical Transport, Minnesota
  • Matthew Jansen, Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth

10:15 AM -- 11:15 AM
Advances in Health Information Technology

Providers in rural areas may be spread out over great distances and so travel to and from medical appointments can be difficult for patients who need to see multiple providers, have a physical disability that makes travel difficult, or do not drive or have access to a personal vehicle.  Hear how emerging technologies are reducing the distance barrier by allowing providers to share important patient information at the click of a button. 


  • Scott Manwaring, AT&T - Healthcare Emerging Technology, Georgia
  • Nancy Green, Verizon Connected Healthcare, Texas

11:15 AM -- 12:00 PM
Access to Capital for Rural Health Centers

One of the greatest challenges to improving the rural health care system is financing upgrades to facilities and technology.  Learn about some of the many opportunities for states and rural communities to access capital building a lasting rural health system in rural America.  


  • Bill Menner, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development, Iowa
  • Paul Moore, Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maryland 

12:00 PM -- 12:30 PM
Interactive Session

Consistently ranked as one of the greatest benefits of attending an NCSL meeting is the ability to collaborate and learn from legislators and staff in other states. In this facilitated discussion, attendees will get the opportunity to ask questions and discuss important rural health issues with their colleagues from around the country, as well as with our expert panelists from the day.   


  • Laura Tobler, NCSL

12:30 PM
Meeting Adjourns