Symposium 2015

Forthcoming, check back soon for more information!



Symposium 2014

Health Care Decisions in the New Era of Health Care Reform

Description: The North Carolina Law Review hosted its fourteenth annual Symposium, Health Care Decisions in the New Era of Health Care Reform, at the Kenan Center in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Our distinguished speakers:

  • Mark Hall, Wake Forest University
  • Allison K. Hoffman, UCLA School of Law
  • Aaron S. Kesselheim, Harvard Medical School
  • Anne Drapkin Lyerly, UNC School of Medicine
  • Kristin M. Madison, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Michelle M. Mello, Harvard School of Public Health
  • David Orentlicher, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Frank A. Pasquale, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Lois Shepherd, University of Virginia Health System
  • Peter Ubel, Duke University


Optimal decision making in health care often proves challenging. Health care providers often confront multiple treatments for each condition with limited evidence as to which interventions work best; moreover, treatment decisions can implicate questions of ethics and personal values that may not be answerable by clinical expertise alone. Fragmented delivery systems lead to insufficient coordination among providers in managing patients’ overall care. Patients face significant informational disadvantage not only in dealing with clinical information, but also in making choices regarding health care insurance coverage. Payers must make reimbursement and coverage decisions with incomplete information about the value and cost effectiveness of many treatments. Governmental officials must make complex regulatory decisions in managing a health care system with seemingly endless demand, escalating costs, and limited resources.

According to some optimistic accounts, the new era of health care reform will radically improve health care decisions. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes many reform initiatives aimed at improving health care decision making. For example, the law encourages the formation of integrated delivery systems that share information and coordinate care, fosters the development of shared decision-making between providers and patients, develops a more comprehensive evidence base through comparative effectiveness research, and creates insurance exchanges where patients as consumers can choose between plans offering standardized benefits and compared in standardized formats. But there are also reasons for concern that, in the new era of health care reform, decision making will become all the more complex and daunting. This symposium will consider both the promise and limitations of recent reform efforts, highlighting the important issues that are likely to emerge as the health care system tries to improve decision making.

Please find powerpoint presentations from the Symposium below:

Mark Hall, J.D.

Professor of Law and Public Health, Wake Forest University

To Expand, or Not to Expand (Medicaid): That is the Question


Allison K. Hoffman, J.D.

Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Health Insurance Regulation and Financial (In)Security After Health Reform


Aaron Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Michelle Mello, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Law and Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Prospects for Regulation of Off-Label Drug Promotion in an Era of Expanding Commercial Speech Protection


Anne Drapkin Lyerly, M.D., M.A.

Associate Professor, Department of Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

Information and Autonomy in Reproductive Decisionmaking


Kristin Madison, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Law and Health Sciences, Northeastern University School of Law

Health Regulators as Data Stewards


David Orentlicher, M.D., J.D.

Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Health Care Reform and Efforts to Encourage Healthy Choices by Individuals


Frank Pasquale, J.D., M.Phil.

Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Best Practices in the Outsourcing of Health Care Decisionmaking


Lois Shepherd, J.D.

Professor of Public Health Sciences and Professor of Law, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia Health System

The End of “End of Life” Law (and maybe ethics as well)


Peter Ubel, M.D.

Professor of Business Administration and Medicine, Professor of Public Policy, Duke University

The Challenge of Turning Patients into Consumers