Dr. Aaron Carroll

"Director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research"
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Program Descriptions

The Affordable Care Act: Preparing for 2017 and Beyond

Listening to media coverage about the US health care system, it can seem impossible to get a real handle on what's going on. Moreover, understanding what the future holds for health care reform, and how it will affect people, businesses, and the country doesn't appear possible. This year is just as critical as the last one, when most of the major regulations and changes went into effect. Dr. Carroll, a leading expert on health care reform, uses publicly available data and unbiased research to cut through the rhetoric and clearly explain the coming changes, including:

  • The Medicaid Expansion: What will happen in different states? What will it mean for individuals? For physicians? For hospitals? For the health care industry? Where are things moving?
  • The Health Insurance Exchanges: Where do we stand in the implementation of this critical endeavor? What will it mean for businesses? For individuals? How will cases before the Supreme Court affect how exchanges function?
  • New payment structures: What will Accountable Care mean to you? How will reimbursement change for health care providers?
  • New regulations: The ACA brings with it new taxes, new fees, and new rules. Many of these are changing all of the time. How will they affect your industry?

     Moving Forward: The Future of Information Technology In Health Care
     Although great improvements in the use of information technology always seem to be right around the corner, our health care system is still in the Stone Age with respect to its use. It is shocking, and somewhat embarrassing, that while computers and information systems are the backbone of nearly every other industry or endeavor in the world, the health care system often lacks even the simplest of improvements. The HITECH Act promises to change all of this, and claims are being made that real innovation is just around the corner. This is even more true as company after company is promising that the collection, transmission, and analysis of digital health data will revolutionize the ways in which we improve health. But there are any number of barriers still standing in the way of progress.

    Dr. Carroll discusses the many attempts made, why they have succeeded or failed, and how we can move forward. He covers the many misunderstandings of information technology, the potential it holds, and the limitations that are often ignored.

     Emerging Technologies Drive the Future of Healthcare

      In this keynote, Dr. Aaron Carroll addresses the specific impact that consumer-originated technologies will have in health care and further how the marketplace will be affected by, and can take advantage of, new technologies that originate and develop in the consumer space. For example:
  • How will mobile apps, DIY health care kits, physician extenders and the one-click millennials impact healthcare?
  • How will consumers use the quality measures regulators publish?
    Dr. Carroll co-owned one of the first companies to write medical software for Palm Pilots (and that really dates him). He will deliver his thoughts on mobile apps, Apple's Healthkit, physician extenders, minute clinics, personal health records, and more. His expertise has been published at his blog theincidentaleconomist.com, in the medical literature, and in the New York Times, to name a few. Bottom line, those who learn how to leverage and embrace emerging technologies to cater to consumer expectations will drive the future of health care for those who deliver, pay for or regulate it.

     Global Healthcare: What Can the US Health Care System Learn From Other Countries?
    As we in the US continue to fight about how to fix our health care system, many are starting to look globally to see what other systems can teach us about reform. Contrary to what many in the media often portray, there are many, many different kinds of health care systems all over the world. Some do better in terms of quality, some do better in terms of access, and almost all of them do better in terms of costs. There are trade-offs, though, to many of the approaches that other countries take, and merely focusing on one or a few aspects in particular fails to give the full understanding of the complexities involved in comparing other health care systems to our own.

    Dr. Carroll, a leading expert on health care policy, will walk audience members through the design of a number of countries' health care systems, explain how they differ from ours in terms of cost, quality, innovation, technology, wait times, coverage, and flexibility. He will explain how many of them made the choices they did, and what that has meant for their past and future. Finally, he will show how adopting some of the ideas behind them, while leading to inevitable tradeoffs, could make the US health care system much more successful.

     The ABC's of the ACA (Affordable Care Act)

      The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, and Obamacare lives on. However, the future of healthcare is far from stable. The ruling made the Medicaid expansion "optional", making the future murky for the 17 million Americans who should become uninsured through Medicaid in the future. Moreover, the political landscape of health care reform is still shifting, making the upcoming election a pivotal turning point in how our health care system works.

    Unfortunately, listening to media coverage about the US health care system, it can seem impossible to get a real handle on what's going on. Understanding what the future holds for health care reform, and how it will affect people, businesses, and the country doesn't appear possible. Dr. Carroll, a leading expert on health care reform, uses publicly available data and unbiased research to cut through the rhetoric and clearly explain the issues with our current system. He explains how the Affordable Care Act will really work, details what it contains, and how it will likely be implemented over the next decade. At the conclusion, audience members truly gain an understanding of the complexity of the problem along with the trade-offs that are inevitable in trying to fix the $2.7 trillion US health care system.

     Myths, Lies and Misconceptions

    from the co-Author of such books as "Don't Swallow Your Gum: Myths, Half-truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health," and "Don't Cross Your Eyes . . . They'll Get Stuck That Way!: And 75 Other Health Myths Debunked."

    We've all heard the one about a dog's mouth being cleaner than a human's. That's a myth, says Dr. Aaron Carroll. A dog's mouth isn't cleaner than a human's - humans don't use their tongues as toilet paper." People have more access to medical information than ever before, and yet we still believe "facts" about our bodies and health that are just plain wrong. Dr. Carroll takes on these myths and misconceptions, and exposes the truth behind some of those weird and worrisome things we think about our bodies. Myth-busting is nothing new for Dr. Carroll who is not just a compelling speaker and extremely well-informed researcher and policy expert, but he has a great ability to spot the important issues and, to point out the disconnects, and the myths in health and wellness. In his keynote, Dr. Carroll highlights medical myths, how they get started, why they persist, and why they are important. He explains some of the truths behind myths he finds most interesting such as:
  • Turkey doesn't make you sleepy - regardless of what you've heard . . . about the tryptophan.
  • Sugar doesn't make kids hyper - there are at least 12 randomized controlled trials that say so.
  • You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • Chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years
  • You can catch poison ivy from someone who has it
  • If you drop food on the floor and pick it up within five seconds, it's safe to eat

    "People hearing my talk will learn about why many medical myths just aren't true -- (because) research says so. It will help them confront and think about other medical and health beliefs they are "sure" are true," says Dr. Carroll. The truth or good information, not myths and misinformation, are pertinent in today's turbulent health care environment. His information has been featured on Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, and in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.
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    Biography Read more

    Aaron E. Carroll is a Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Dean for Research Mentoring, and the Director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He earned a BA in chemistry from Amherst College, an MD from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, and an MS in health services research from the University of Washington, where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. His research focuses on health care financing reform; the study of information technology to improve pediatric care; and areas of health policy including physician malpractice and the pharmaceutical industry/physician relationship.

    Dr. Carroll was one of the first to study the use of mobile devices, such as Palm Pilots, in actual care and has written numerous publications on the subject. He has held millions of dollars in various government agency grants to explore the use of information technology in health care and is one of the leading pediatric informaticists in the U.S. Dr. Carroll has also served in this capacity in committees for the American Academy of Pediatrics and is the co-founder of Medical Data Solutions, one of the first software companies to create programs for health professionals for mobile devices.

    He is a regular contributor to the New York Times, as well as other media outlets, and he is the co-author of three books on medical myths, including the popular Don't Swallow Your Gum: Myths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health. His blog, The Incidental Economist, is one of the most well-read health policy blogs in the world. His work has been featured nearly all major international print magazines and newspapers, and he has appeared on Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, ABC News, and The Colbert Report.

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    "Dr. Carroll's content as well as his ability to respond to the Questions section at the end was truly fantastic. I was a big fan before, now I'm a huge fan."

    "Dr. Carroll was a huge success! His message was spot-on. Attendees said that they had seen a lot of presentations on ACA and Dr. Carroll's was the best in terms helping them understand the ACA and its implications."
    --Medical Library Association

    "He did a fantastic job. We definitely plan on doing more work with him in the near future."

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