January 18, 2013
13-12

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

Healthcare Reform Discussion to be held Wednesday, Jan. 23

VALDOSTA – The nation’s evolving healthcare system leads many to question and how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affects them and their healthcare.  With that in mind, Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences begins its Spring Lecture Series with a panel discussion titled “Healthcare Reform” Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bailey Science Center Auditorium.

The discussion will feature several experts in the areas of healthcare, public policy and employee benefits. The event is free and open to the community.

Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham, College of Coastal Georgia assistant professor of business and public affairs, will present an overview of the upcoming changes in healthcare policies and the importance of healthcare to economic vitality. Randy Sauls, chief executive officer of South Georgia Medical Center, will address the implications of healthcare reform for hospitals and Dr. Myron Faircloth, assistant professor in the VSU College of Nursing, will focus on the implications of healthcare reform and the growing need for nurses and nurse practitioners.

“Virtually every person in the U.S. will be affected in some way by healthcare reform,” said Wickersham. “I think the most important reason to attend this event is to understand how reform will affect individuals, families, friends and employers.”

To discuss reform from an employer’s standpoint, Barbara Barrett and Ewelina Sparks, of Langdale Industries, will discuss innovative ways that companies are managing healthcare benefits for employees.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a mandate that requires everyone to purchase insurance or pay a penalty. Larger employers are required to provide coverage. Smaller employers may receive tax benefits for offering insurance. People from 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for subsidies for insurance purchased on the exchange. The mandate is set to become effective Jan. 1, 2014.

For more information about the event or the lecture series, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at (229) 333-5699.