The U.S. government's plans for health-insurance reform combined with public outcry over spiraling insurance costs and general economic worries has put health-insurance companies in a perilous position when it comes to spending on meetings.
When Joann Chmura, CMP, CMM, finally got the go-ahead for Connecticare Inc.'s annual Producer Advisory Conference last June, she had just three months to pull it together—and a budget that had been slashed by a third, or $70,000. She normally had a year to organize the long-standing event for about 50 top brokers and guests, but the uncertain times and a membership loss left the Bridgeport, Conn.–based managed-healthcare company unwilling to commit until getting quarterly sales figures. ...
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