Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee to recommend ways to contain long-term health care costs, maintain quality

September 14, 2010

A Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee has been appointed at Purdue to recommend strategies for managing the University's health care budget while continuing to provide affordable quality health care for employees and their families. Charged with taking a long-term view, the committee will focus on recommendations to adopt over the next three to five years. 
"The Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee will bring together Purdue experts from various health disciplines and focus their attention on the multimillion-dollar undertaking of providing health care for our faculty and staff," said Luis Lewin, vice president for human resources.
In 2009, claims paid by Purdue's medical plans amounted to $118.8 million system-wide. The estimated claims cost for 2010 is $125 million, an increase of 5.2 percent or $6.2 million.
The committee, chaired by Pam Aaltonen, associate professor of nursing, will have its first meeting Thursday (Sept. 16).
"A diverse committee will allow us to look broadly at Purdue's health care plan and to initially put as many ideas as possible on the table for discussion and review," Aaltonen says. "Our role then will be to critically analyze ideas and options in terms of validity, feasibility, value and costs, and then make recommendations to Purdue's administration."
The committee has been asked to provide its report and recommendations by March 1 to Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Al Diaz, executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer. Following review by Sands and Diaz, the committee's recommendations will be shared with the Purdue community.
"Recommendations will result from having done our homework and from having robust discussion from multiple vantage points," Aaltonen says.
The Blue Ribbon Healthcare Committee consists of:
* Pam Aaltonen, Nursing (chair)
* Steve Abel, Pharmacy Practice
* John Beelke, Human Resources-Staff Benefits
* Mike Campion, Management
* Jenny Coddington, Nursing
* Bart Collins, Communication
* Jim Dworkin, Purdue North Central
* Luis Lewin, Human Resources
* Philip Troped, Health and Kinesiology
* Susan White, Pharmacy
* Steve Witz, Regenstrief Center

"A healthy, productive workforce is an advantage to us individually and collectively," Aaltonen says. "How we best achieve this while recognizing that our health care dollars are finite is a critical question for the committee to consider."