HIMSS17 - the patient financial experience of the future

More than 43,000 people and 1,300 vendors from around the world attended the nation’s largest health care conference, HIMSS17, in Orlando, Florida last month. While there were a variety of recurring themes from years past, such as the importance of business intelligence and clinical coordination, there were plenty of new themes, too.  IBM CEO Ginni Rometty delivered the Conference’s Opening Keynote. Rometty talked about artificial intelligence, transparency, purpose and collaboration. She inspired the audience with clips from the film Hidden Figures, referencing the importance of looking for and taking those “moon shots.” Other themes that were bigger this year than in past years included cybersecurity and population health. While patient engagement remained a large theme for the education sessions, there appeared to be a shift this year towards consumerism language and the integration of data and systems; rather than being a thing of the future, hospitals and health systems now see these as an expectation and requirement.

Increased Vendor Collaboration

One of the biggest shifts this year was the increased visibility of vendor collaboration.  More than 7,400 people visited the 34,000 square foot Interoperability Showcase, featuring nearly 20 vignettes. Vendors teamed up in groups of 5-7 participating organizations to showcase their ability to work together to exchange and use data in real-time, through interoperability profiles and standards, using products already in the marketplace. Vignettes show-cased everything from how to create the best patient experience in revenue cycle management to engaging with patients to effectively manage diabetes. Attendees had the opportunity to speak directly with technology leaders to learn more about their solutions.  Five members of the HIMSS Revenue Cycle Improvement Task Force (RCITF) joined together to provide a live demonstration of the Patient Financial Experience of the Future

A New Prior Authorization Work Group

Other highlights across the week included pre-conference symposiums addressing topics like alternative payment models and prior authorization.  Even at the early hour of 7:00am, the authorization panel attracted a standing-room only audience.  HIMSS Health Business Solutions brought together representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBS LA),  CAQH/CORE, the Healthcare Administrative Technology Association (HATA), WEDI, and event sponsor eviCore to discuss each organization’s engagement in addressing prior authorization pain points between providers and payers, and discuss their plans to coordinate activities going forward.  WEDI will take the lead in developing a formal process for the groups to share information and, where appropriate, align activities towards common goals. 

Unable to Attend the Conference? 

Not to worry!  Effective April 1, 2017, HIMSS will offer educational session recordings for purchase (access to session recordings is included in the registration price for those who were able to attend in person).  Visit the HIMSS education website before April 1st to purchase the full complement of sessions for just $149.  After April 1st, the price will increase to $199.

Watch for information coming soon for HIMSS18!

About the author:  As a director at The Advisory Board, Asha works with hospitals to navigate a rapidly changing healthcare environment. She is a member of the HIMSS Revenue Cycle Task Force and speaks regularly at healthcare conferences.