Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.


Patrick J. Kennedy represented Rhode Island Congressional District 1 from 1995 to 2011. The youngest son of Senator Ted Kennedy left Congress to devote himself full-time to mental health advocacy following the 2011 passing of his older sister, Kara, which came two years after his father's death.

A recent Marcus Evans Events Healthcare CXO Summit in Palm Springs, California featured a high-powered lineup of hospital and post-acute care executives, relating stories of the efforts of their organizations to prepare for changes coming to the healthcare industry. But Kennedy stole the show. His frank, autobiographical presentation laid bare a lifetime struggle with, and eventual victory over, substance abuse, followed by an appeal to join his battle.

While in the House of Representatives, Kennedy authored and co-sponsored a number of mental health-related bills: the Positive Aging Act, the Foundations for Learning Act, which established a grant program to improve mental and emotional health for school children through screening and early intervention, the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act; the COMBAT PTSD Act; the Nurse-Family Partnership Act, the Alzheimer's Treatment and Caregiver Support Act, and the Ready, Willing, and Able Act.

He told the audience of healthcare executives that the most difficult hurdle he had to surpass before any of these bills had a chance to become law was the hurdle erected by the insurance lobby. In order to force them to cover mental as well as physical health care, he had to first get his colleagues to pass a resolution declaring that the brain is part of the body. That victory paved the way for Kennedy's signature bill, the "Parity Act," to reach the President's desk.

Kennedy said about his Parity Act, signed into law in 1996, that it requires insurance companies, both public and private, to treat brain diseases like any other illness in the body. "We must make sure that everyone gets the care they need by fully enforcing the federal Parity Law and state parity laws," he asserted. "The federal government and state regulators must conduct random audits of insurers to ensure compliance and absolutely have to conduct audits of companies who commit repeated parity violations."

He pointed interested parties toward the Scattergood Foundation, which created to help consumers understand and enforce their rights to insurance coverage for behavioral health that is equal to their coverage for other medical care.

Marcus Evans Events

The organization that hosted Mr. Kennedy conducts conferences year-round and worldwide. The Healthcare CXO conference where Kennedy was the featured speaker last summer is held twice per year in the U.S. Often, they will combine more than one event at the same location on the same dates. For example, the end of January will see three conferences at the Château Élan Winery & Resort, Braselton, Georgia: the Employment Benefits and Compensation Summit, HR Strategy and Innovation Summit, and Healthcare HR Summit.

If data moves you more than HR, Marcus Evans is planning The National Healthcare Informatics Summit, March 18-19 in Pasadena. The keynote speaker at this event will be Eugene Kolker, former VP and Chief Data Officer at IBM. Topics addressed in Pasadena will include Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare Leaders of the Future, Patient Satisfaction, and "Patient-Facing Technology for Patient-Centered Care."

The next Marcus Evans Healthcare CXO Summit is set for May 19-21 at the Eau Palm Beach Resort in Florida. To research other upcoming Marcus Evans healthcare events, see their web site at


©2018 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only.