Sun Sets on Record-setting HIMSS14

Jodock_Pam.gifMany thanks to those of you who helped to make HIMSS14 our most successful conference ever! Not only did HIMSS experience a record number of attendees, number of exhibitors and amount of exhibitor space utilized, we helped the Orange County Convention Center set a couple of record of its own - most telecom used, most electrical laid, most rigging hung and most concessions sold.

HIMSS welcomed nearly 39,000 attendees, including 19 congressional staffers and leaders. Attendees included former Governors, state officials and members of the Executive Branch. We hosted over 300 educational sessions, welcomed more than 2,400 participants to our online programs and facilitated numerous "meet-ups" in the newly created HIMSS Spot. CMS used the opportunity to re-state their commitment to an October 1, 2014 go-live date for the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and provided more information about the stages of testing that will be offered between now and October, beginning with the acknowledgement testing that occurred March 3-7, and concluding with end-to-end testing sometime this summer.

ICD-10 was the focus of a full-day pre-conference symposium where presenters discussed how to address some of the biggest ICD-10 challenges including: implementing a successful ICD-10 program in an outpatient/ambulatory setting; how to increase retention and the effectiveness of documentation and training; how to support organizations that are behind in their ICD-10 conversion; how to optimize remaining ICD-10 budgets; what to do about post 10/14 reimbursement monitoring; and how providers can avoid ICD-10's long-term impacts to fraud, waste and abuse. Copies of each of the six presentations delivered can be found on the HIMSS14 conference website.

Additional ICD-10 related opportunities available during the conference included educational sessions aimed at helping audience members understand how to optimize technology in their implementation efforts; anticipating financial and documentation impacts; mitigation strategies and looking beyond implementation to consider how we can leverage analytics to realize the full benefit of the move to this larger, more detailed code set.

Special recognition goes to John Dingle, Jon Melling, Dwan Thomas-Flowers and Hamilton Todd for developing and delivering an excellent HIMSS Spot presentation outlining what providers and organizations should be focusing on in the thirty-one weeks we have left between now and October 1, 2014. The presentation was well attended and many audience members took advantage of the opportunity to speak with our subject matter experts afterwards.

Those of you who were unable to attend HIMSS14 (or whose note-taking couldn't keep up with the amount of great information being shared) can access all of the presentations delivered through the www.himssconference.org web site, where you will find copies of the PowerPoint presentations delivered as well as recordings of several of the sessions.

As many of you know, there's more to HIMSS than its Annual Conference. As we enter the final quarter of the HIMSS fiscal year, staff and volunteers in the HIMSS Health Business Solutions area will continue our efforts to ensure that the healthcare community has the tools and resources it needs to be fully prepared for the transition to ICD-10, including expanding our ICD-10 PlayBook material with content that takes us beyond implementation. Our Financial Privacy and Security Task Force will finalize its white paper outlining the ways in which the healthcare industry can leverage the experience and solutions for identity management developed by financial services industry, and our Revenue Cycle Improvement Task Force will continue its evaluation of the current state of the patient/consumer financial experience and steps necessary to move us into the next generation of revenue cycle management tools that will be consumer friendly while meeting the business needs of all stakeholders.

We continue to recruit talented and committed individuals to our Task Forces and Work Groups. If you are interested in taking a more active role with your HIMSS membership, please feel free to reach out to me to discuss the many opportunities available to you.

Pam has more than 25 years' experience in the commercial payer realm. While Director of Issues Management at WellPoint, Inc., she served as the HIT subject matter expert for the policy department and was directly involved in crafting language for the Patient Protection and Affordability Act. During her tenure at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Inc., Pam was responsible for developing strategic partnerships focused on advancing the adoption of technical solutions to reduce healthcare fraud and improve identity management across the healthcare continuum. As the Senior Director of Health Business Solutions for HIMSS, Pam oversees the overall management and strategy development for HIMSS Health Business Solutions initiatives. Pam is a graduate of Eastern Oregon University with a BS in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.