5 Things to Track Through HIMSS16 February 7th, 2016 by

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With HIMSS16 happening earlier than usual this year and smack dab in the middle of MU and PQRS data submission season, it’s easy to lose track of what to look for coming out of the show this year. To assist, here are five things we are monitoring and will continue to cover through our blog.

  1. More Regulatory Guidance from CMS and HHS – HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will deliver an opening keynote address. This will mark the first major public address by CMS/HHS since CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt’s now-famous declaration and subsequent clarification regarding the future of MU under MIPS. Lobbying efforts regarding MU and other value-based programs continue to be aggressively pursued by numerous organizations. It will be interesting to see if and how those efforts may be reflected in what Secretary Burwell discusses.
  2. The Rising Importance of the Back-Office Impacts of Value-Based Programs – We have observed rapidly increasing interest among provider organizations, consultants, and vendors in how to manage the back office complexities presented by value-based programs. For instance, the Big 4 accounting and consulting firms are expanding their healthcare compliance efforts in light of the large, growing opportunities enabled by the CY2017 onset of MIPS and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) under the MACRA legislation. Read our HFM article to learn more.
  3. Interoperability Continues to Play Out – December and January saw the rollout of Carequality (part of The Sequoia Project, formerly known as Healtheway), yet another vendor-driven interoperability collaborative alongside others such as the CommonWell Health Alliance. HL7’s FHIR specification and the related Argonaut Project will also undoubtedly receive much additional attention at the show. The confusing and often contradictory co-opetition happening among vendors may rear its head again to reveal more impacts and timelines which provider organizations should be watching.
  4. Privacy and Security Get Even Hotter – On the heels of a staggering analysis of the HHS breach disclosure database revealing that one in three Americans’ healthcare records were breached last year, expect a noticeable uptick in shocking stats and vendor pitches in the privacy and security space. Separating wheat from chaff will be more challenging than ever.
  5. Healthcare Transparency for Consumers Further Expands – I heard a talk recently by product leaders at Yelp and Healthgrades which indicate they have full intention to leverage the rapidly-expanding swath of payer-reported data on provider quality and cost metrics. Healthcare delivery continues to shift towards retail venues, such as urgent care clinics, and the patient self-pay portion of healthcare costs continues to rise. As a result, consumers’ thirst for information to choose providers wisely is unquestionably growing. Look for early players in the emerging provider reputation management space to start showing their colors at HIMSS.

To discuss these trends and more, stop by the SA Ignite booth #1265 at HIMSS.

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