2020 Medical Debt Summit - RIP Medical Debt

2020 Medical Debt Summit

Medical Debt in the Age of COVID‑19 and Beyond

Thank you for attending the summit. to learn more about how you can abolish medical debt for those in need.

Watch Summit Replay

This year’s summit arrives at a critical juncture. Our communities, government, industries, and healthcare system continue to combat a global public health crisis: the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Join us on the afternoon of October 6, 2020 via livestream where leading researchers will present new findings on the economic and non-economic impacts of medical debt on individuals and families. The researchers will be joined by experts and industry leaders for an afternoon of in-depth conversations on the many challenges around the growing problem of unpaid and unpayable medical debt — before, now, and after COVID‑19.

Agenda — October 6, 2020
1:00pm — 1:15pm ET
Welcome and Introduction
  • Allison Sesso Executive Director, RIP Medical Debt
  • Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico Co-Founders, RIP Medical Debt
1:15pm — 1:45pm ET
Understanding the Prevalence and Impact of Medical Debt: New Research and Insights
  • Ray Kluender Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
  • Neale Mahoney Professor of Economics, Stanford University
  • Francis Wong Postdoctoral Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Wes Yin Associate Professor, University of California at Los Angeles
1:45pm — 2:50pm ET
Panel One: Reflections and Insights on Research Findings
Noam Levey
National Healthcare Reporter, The Los Angeles Times
  • Sara R. Collins Vice President, Health Care Coverage and Access, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Dr. Rishi Manchanda President and CEO, HealthBegins
  • Charles “Chuck” Milligan Former Executive Director of The Hilltop Institute's Hospital Community Benefit Program
  • Jonathan Wiik Principal Healthcare Strategy, Transunion
2:50pm — 3:05pm ET
Coffee Break
3:05pm — 4:15pm ET
Panel Two: Medical Debt in the Age of COVID‑19
John Tozzi
Healthcare Reporter, Bloomberg News
  • Stephanie Eidelman CEO, The iA Institute
  • Dr. Kamillah Wood Community Pediatrician and Former White House Fellow in the Obama Administration
  • Dr. Mitchell Katz President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Karen Pollitz Senior Fellow, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Sara R. Collins, Ph.D
Vice President, Health Care Coverage and Access, The Commonwealth Fund
Read Biography
Sara R. Collins, Ph.D — Biography

Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., is vice president for health care coverage and access at The Commonwealth Fund. An economist, Dr. Collins directs the Fund’s program on insurance coverage and access. She also directs the Fund’s research initiative on Tracking Health System Performance. Since joining the Fund in 2002, Dr. Collins has led several multi-year national surveys on health insurance and authored numerous reports, issue briefs and journal articles on health insurance coverage, health reform, and the Affordable Care Act. She has provided invited testimony before several Congressional committees and subcommittees. Prior to joining the Fund, Dr. Collins was associate director/senior research associate at the New York Academy of Medicine, Division of Health and Science Policy. Earlier in her career, she was an associate editor at U.S. News & World Report, a senior economist at Health Economics Research, and a senior health policy analyst in the New York City Office of the Public Advocate. She holds an A.B. in economics from Washington University and a Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University.

Stephanie Eidelman
CEO, The iA Institute
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Stephanie Eidelman — Biography

Stephanie Eidelman is a thought leader in the consumer debt space. Her day job is owner and CEO of The iA Institute, a media company that provides news, education, events, and connection for stakeholders in the world of consumer credit and collections. A visionary and constant innovator, she has grown the company from its beginning as the publisher of a daily newsletter (insideARM) to one that influences the industry at the highest level. In addition to leading the iA team, Stephanie spends the lion's share of her time managing the Consumer Relations Consortium and the iA Innovation Council. These are membership groups that serve as think tanks and a forum for working collaboratively with a range of stakeholder groups to solve complex industry problems.

Prior to The iA Institute, Stephanie held various leadership positions in (or consulted for) media companies making the transition from print to online. Previously, she was a materials manager at aerospace manufacturer Allied Signal, and also a stage and production manager for The Walt Disney Company. Stephanie holds a BS from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Dr. Kamillah Wood, MD, MPH, FAAP
Community Pediatrician and Former White House Fellow in the Obama Administration
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Dr. Kamillah Wood, MD, MPH, FAAP — Biography

Dr. Kamillah Wood is a seasoned executive, public policy practitioner and community pediatrician with over 10 years of leadership and management experience in the non-profit, government, academic and clinical sectors. A highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Wood brings a wealth of knowledge of multi-sector strategies to generate systems and policy change to advance health equity.

Dr. Wood most recently served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer at the Children’s Health Fund (CHF) in New York City. She oversaw all CHF programmatic and strategic initiatives for the organization, steering the organization’s priorities towards interventions that fostered and accelerated health equity. Dr. Wood joined CHF from Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) where she served as Senior Vice President. At SAHF, she became a nationally renowned policy expert on the intersection of health and housing. By using “housing as a platform” to increase health equity and improve outcomes for SAHF’s residents, she facilitated partnerships with the health sector and informed policymakers on critical issues at the intersection of health and housing. Through her efforts, Dr. Wood elevated the understanding that a safe and stable home is a key social determinant of health.

Prior to SAHF, Dr. Wood was appointed as Special Policy Advisor and White House Fellow to Secretary Anthony Foxx at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). At USDOT, she advised Secretary Foxx and other senior leaders on the intersection of health and transportation, as well as economic mobility and equity. She was the USDOT lead on an interagency initiative to promote socioeconomic integration in communities with the Department of Education and Department of Housing and Urban Development; and served as the agency representative to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Dr. Wood spent her clinical years practicing in Southeast Washington, D.C. in the Children’s Health Center at THEARC at Children’s National Health System, where she also served as Associate Medical Director. In addition to managing the operations of the health center and mobile health program, she also led asthma quality improvement initiatives through the IMPACT DC program; started a civic engagement program for patients and families; and instructed pediatric residents and students as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Wood completed her residency and was a Chief Resident at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; received her Medical Degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Master of Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health as a Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellow in Minority Health Policy; and Bachelor of Science from Howard University.

Dr. Mitchell Katz
President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals
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Dr. Mitchell Katz — Biography

Dr. Katz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of New York City Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the United States, with 11 acute care hospitals, 5 skilled nursing facilities, and a large array of community health centers.

Previously, Dr. Katz was the Director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency, an agency that combines the Departments of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health into a single entity so as to provide more integrated care and programming within Los Angeles. The Agency has a budget of 7 billion dollars, 28,000 employees, and a large number of community partners. Dr. Katz served as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), the second largest public safety net system in the United States. During this time, he created the ambulatory care network and empaneled over 350,000 patients to a primary care home. He eliminated the deficit of DHS through increased revenues and decreased administrative expenses, and used the new ACA funding to pay for an integrated electronic health system. He moved over 4000 medically complex patients from hospitals and emergency departments into independent housing, thereby eliminating unnecessary expensive hospital care and giving the patients the dignity of their own home. Dr. Katz continued to see patients every week as an outpatient physician at Edward R. Royal Comprehensive Health Center and on the inpatient medicine service at LAC+USC, Harbor-UCLA, and Olive View-UCLA Medical Centers.

Before he came to Los Angeles Dr. Katz was the Director and Health Officer of the San Francisco Department of Health for 13 years. He is well known for funding needle exchange, creating Healthy San Francisco, outlawing the sale of tobacco at pharmacies, and winning ballot measures for rebuilding Laguna Honda Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School. He completed an internal medicine residency at UCSF Medical School and was an RWJ Clinical Scholar.

He is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (previously the Institute of Medicine). He practices as a primary care doctor at Health + Hospitals/Gouverner Health Center.

Dr. Rishi Manchanda
President and CEO, HealthBegins
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Dr. Rishi Manchanda — Biography

Dr. Rishi Manchanda is President & CEO of HealthBegins, a mission-driven consulting and technology firm that helps healthcare and community partners improve care and the social factors that make people sick in the first place. Client-partners include the American Hospital Association, the CMS Accountable Health Communities model, and health plans and health systems across the country. Dr. Manchanda serves on the board of the Beyond Flexner Alliance, on the California Future Health Workforce Commission, and was a member of the HHS Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network’s Primary Care Payment Model Work Group.

Dr. Manchanda’s career is marked by a commitment to improving care and social determinants of health for vulnerable populations. He served as director of social medicine for a network of community health centers in south central Los Angeles, was the lead physician for homeless Veterans at the Greater Los Angeles VA, and was the first chief medical officer for a self-insured employer with a large rural immigrant workforce. In his 2013 TEDbook, The Upstream Doctors, he introduced a new model of healthcare workers - the Upstreamists - who improve care and equity by addressing patients' social needs, like food, financial and housing insecurity. The book has become recommended reading in medical schools and universities across the world.

Charles “Chuck” Milligan, JD
Former Executive Director of The Hilltop Institute's Hospital Community Benefit Program
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Charles “Chuck” Milligan, JD — Biography

Charles began his consulting practice in April 2020. Before that, he served as CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Community Plan of New Mexico from 2015-2020, with overall accountability for the Medicaid and DSNP business lines that covered over 100,000 members and had annual revenue above $1 billion. In his last 18 months with United, Mr. Milligan also was National VP for Strategy for United’s DSNP product in 38 states. Prior to joining United, Mr. Milligan was the State Medicaid director in two states: Maryland from 2011-2014 (where his role included starting the ACA health insurance exchange and implementing the Medicaid expansion) and New Mexico from 1996 to 2000 (where the Governor asked him to convert Medicaid from fee-for-service to managed care, and launch the CHIP program after it was created by Congress). His previous work includes a variety of Medicaid consulting engagements with over twenty state governments; leading a health services research organization; and practicing health care law. He has testified before Congress, and eight states’ legislatures. Mr. Milligan has been an appointed commissioner on the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) since 2015 and is the current Vice Chair of MACPAC. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MPH from UC Berkeley.

Karen Pollitz
Senior Fellow, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
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Karen Pollitz — Biography

Karen Pollitz is a Senior Fellow at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). She works on the Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance, tracking implementation of private market reforms with a focus on consumer protections. Prior to joining KFF, she worked at the US Department of Health and Human Services on national health reform (2010-2011 and 1993-1997) and directed research on private health insurance at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Oberlin College.

Jonathan Wiik, MHA, MBA
Principal Healthcare Strategy, Transunion
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Jonathan Wiik, MHA, MBA — Biography

Jonathan Wiik has almost 25 years of healthcare experience in acute care, health IT and insurance settings. He started his career as a hospital transporter and served in clinical operations, patient access, billing, case management and many other roles at a large not-for-profit acute care hospital and prominent commercial payer before serving as Chief Revenue Officer.

In his current role as Principal of Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion Healthcare, he is responsible for support and consultation on business development opportunities and works closely with the market and hospitals on industry best practices for revenue cycle management. He is considered an expert in the industry for healthcare finance, legislation, revenue cycle management and strategic transformation.

Wiik is an active advocate of legislative changes that evolve the healthcare industry. He’s the author of Healthcare Revolution: The Patient Is the New Payer, and his new book, Revenue Evolution: Helping Providers Get Paid in An Era of Uncertainty, which was released in early 2020. He frequently speaks as a thought leader at state and national events.

Wiik is an officer on the Colorado HFMA Board, and previously served as a board member for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and Colorado Association of Healthcare Executives (CAHE). He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and holds two master’s degrees in healthcare administration and business. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family in Colorado with his wife and two very energetic red – headed boys. He’s also a certified whitewater rafting guide instructor and an avid traveler, and has had a six month stay in Antarctica and a visit to the South Pole.

Noam Levey
National Healthcare Reporter, The Los Angeles Times
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Noam Levey — Biography

Noam N. Levey is an award-winning health policy reporter for the Los Angeles Times, based in Washington, D.C. Covering healthcare over the last decade, he has reported from more than 35 states around the country, as well as from Asia, Africa, Western Europe and Latin America. Noam’s stories about the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare issues regularly appear in newspapers nationwide. He has also been published in Health Affairs, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Milbank Quarterly. Prior to joining the Los Angeles Times in 2003, Noam was an investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley. He has a degree in Middle Eastern history from Princeton University.

John Tozzi
Healthcare Reporter, Bloomberg News
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John Tozzi — Biography

John Tozzi is a health-care reporter for Bloomberg News who focuses on health insurance, the medical industry, and health policy. He joined Bloomberg News as part of Businessweek magazine, where he started in 2008. At Businessweek, he covered small business and entrepreneurship. He began his career covering community news in Queens for the TimesLedger chain of weekly newspapers. He is a graduate of Boston University and in 2016-17 received a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at Columbia University.

Research Team
Ray Kluender
Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
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Ray Kluender — Biography

Ray Kluender is an assistant professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School and a faculty affiliate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). He studies the causes of financial distress among American households and how government, private insurance, and credit markets should function to insure those risks. In recent projects, his work has focused on improving our understanding of the economic consequences of health care policy, the consumer bankruptcy system, and financial and insurance technology. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the New England Journal of Medicine and has received coverage by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Associated Press. Kluender received a PhD in economics from MIT and a B.S. in Economics, Mathematics, and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Neale Mahoney
Professor of Economics, Stanford University
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Neale Mahoney — Biography

Neale Mahoney is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Mahoney is an applied micro-economist with an interest in healthcare and consumer financial markets. He was named a Sloan Research Fellow in 2016 and is a co-editor of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Before joining Stanford, Mahoney was Professor of Economics and David G. Booth Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was also a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in health policy research at Harvard University and worked for the Obama Administration on health care reform. Mahoney received a PhD and MA in economics from Stanford University and an ScB in applied mathematics-economics from Brown University.

Francis Wong
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
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Francis Wong — Biography

Francis Wong is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Aging and Health Research at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on topics in public finance and household finance, with an emphasis on consumer financial distress. His recent work studies the link between household financial distress and housing policy, the behavioral biases that exacerbate financial insecurity, and racial disparities in financial distress. Before his doctoral studies, he studied Mathematics and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Wes Yin
Associate Professor, University of California at Los Angeles
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Wes Yin — Biography

Wes Yin is an associate professor in the UCLA Luskin Department of Public Policy and the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, and is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Previously, he taught at the University of Chicago and Boston University, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy at Harvard University. He received his PhD in economics from Princeton University.

From 2012-2014, Yin served in the Obama Administration, first as a Senior Economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers, then as Acting Chief Economist and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Yin’s research interests include health care, consumer finance, and economic development. His current research focuses on insurance marketplace design, supplier market power, and their implications for consumer financial health, economic well-being, and inequality.


A special thanks to the sponsors who helped make this summit possible.