Aaron Carroll, MD, MS

It exceeded our expectations! He was able to present a complex and potentially contentious topic in a non-biased, factual manner that engaged the audience and prompted numerous questions.

– Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

About Keynote Speaker Aaron Carroll

Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS, 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. 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 also serves as Regenstrief Institute’s vice president for faculty development where he leads Regenstrief’s faculty development strategy and implementation efforts.

Speech Topics


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. Contrary to what many say, there are a number of replacement plans for the ACA that have Republican support. The problem is that these plans differ on critical issues, and resolving them may be difficult. This year may be the most critical since the law was first past. Dr. Carroll, a leading expert on health care reform, uses publicly available data and unbiased research to cut through the rhetoric and clearly explain potential changes, including:

  • Will the ACA be repealed? How might that happen? What about Repeal and Replace? Repeal and Delay? What’s going on right now, and what’s likely to happen next.
  • Medicaid: Will the expansion be repealed? Will Medicaid be reformed to a block grant program? 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?
  • Health Insurance Exchanges: Will these disappear? Will insurance companies continue to offer products? What will changes mean for businesses? For individuals?
  • New Regulations: The ACA brought with it new taxes, new fees, and new rules. How might plans for reform affect these? How will they affect your industry?

Dr. Carroll offers a Q/A, following this keynote, providing a lively discussion for attendees.


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.


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.


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.

Speakers Videos

The Affordable Care Act: Preparing for 2015 and Beyond

2017 Gallup: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Books & Media


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KEYWORDS: Business of Healthcare, Change, Future, Governance, Innovation, Policy, Population Health, Reform, Strategy, Technology, Trends, Vision, Healthcare Reform