Inaugural Annual Stakeholder Roundtable

Friday, June 19, 2020
10:30 am - 2:30 pm EST

The Frances Hamburger Institute for Community Rheumatology (FHI) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit Charitable Organization established in October 2017 to honor the late Dr. Frances Hamburger. FHI is dedicated to carrying out initiatives that provide insights and raise awareness about improvements needed in payment and formulary policies, outcomes research, and treatment for individuals diagnosed with rheumatologic disorders. The Institute will fund patient-focused scientific, clinical, and health economic research related to rheumatic disease and the development of public awareness and physician education to improve access to the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment.

In March 2020, FHI was to hold its Inaugural Stakeholder Roundtable with the main objective to develop a business plan for the coming year.  This event was to produce an agreed list of identified gaps and  prioritized activities, aligned with our mission, based on our Needs Assessment and the discussion between the Stakeholders.

However, the day before the meeting, one of the physicians became ill with COVID-19 symptoms and we were forced to postpone the event.  The following week most of the United States was sheltering-in-place and it became clear that holding a live event was not going to be possible.  The pre-COVID issues that we were going to identify and discuss from each Stakeholder perspective in our original Roundtable agenda have become more apparent and accentuated.  There are also additional issues that have surfaced. We have covidized our agenda to reflect the new healthcare landscape.

The impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system is dramatically significant. Stopping all non-emergent doctor’s visits has left the rheumatology community scrambling to find ways to safely and effectively treat their patients.  It has left patients unable to access physicians and treatments. Our agenda will focus on these patients and how we find, manage and treat them.  The three types of patients we identified are: 

  1. The Symptomatic and Undiagnosed Patient 
  2. The Diagnosed and High Resource Utilization Patient
  3. Diagnosed, Well Controlled but Disengaged Patient. 

In discussing each patient type we will also focus on the Cost and Economic Challenges associated with these patients and how these challenges impact providers, patients and payers.  Taking it a step further, we will examine how these economic challenges impact patient, clinical and financial outcomes for the foreseeable future.

A collaborative approach that includes perspective from each stakeholder is a must. This new normal impacts the rheumatic healthcare system at every level.  The best chance of helping patients is working together.


  1. Understand the impact of Covid-19 on the field of rheumatology
  2. Analyze and stratify new clinical and economic threats brought-on by Covid-19 to three well known rheumatic patient types
  3. Identify areas of stakeholder collaboration for problem solving

Meet our Panelists

  • Dr. Alan Epstein, MD, Clinical Professor at Penn Medicine, Partner at Pennsylvania Rheumatology Associates
  • Dr. Liana Fraenkel, MD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, Director, Patient Centered Population Health Services at Berkshire Health Systems
  • Dr. Max Hamburger, MD, FACP, Managing Partner of Rheumatology Associates of Long Island, Founder, Executive Chairman, and Chief Medical Officer, United Rheumatology
  • Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurology, Director of the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center
Patient Advocacy
  • Seth Ginsberg, Co-Founder and Chairman Global Healthy Living Foundation, Co-Founder and President of TGI Healthworks
Government Policy
  • James Scott, President and CEO of Applied Policy
  • Dr. Angus Worthing, MD, Partner at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates, Former Chair of Government Affairs Committee at the American College of Rheumatology
  • Chip Parkinson, Executive Vice President, Payer Markets and Reimbursements, Myriad Genetics
Expert in Healthcare Data Science
  • Joseph E. Couto, PharmD, MBA, Senior Director, Specialty Program Evaluation and Outcomes

Biomedical Innovation
  • Dr. Gigi Hirsch, MD, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry, Executive Director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation
Mental Health Professional
  • Marci Reiss, DSW, LCSW, Co-Founder Wellness Institute, Director of Behavioral Health, CEO, Supported Patient, Founder and President IBD Support Foundation
Healthcare Law

Participating Organizations: