Reform on the agenda
HFMA conference to explore repercussions of ACA
Financial executives will gather next month in Orlando, Fla., at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Annual National Institute to discuss the continuing reverberations from healthcare reform.
Key themes will include health insurance exchanges, changes to the healthcare delivery system and value-based healthcare, said Scott Kenemore, a spokesman for the group, which represents 40,000 members including chief financial officers, treasurers, accountants and other financial professionals.
Kenemore said 5,000 attendees are expected at this year’s meeting. He declined to disclose last year’s numbers, but Modern Healthcare has reported that about 5,000 people attended last June in Las Vegas. This year’s conference will run June 16-19.
Speakers will include Dr. Donald Berwick, former CMS administrator and co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, who is expected to address barriers that health systems must overcome to change their delivery models and improve outcomes while controlling costs.
While the meeting will explore familiar financial topics—such as revenue cycle management and mergers and acquisitions—a significant focus will be on how the payment landscape will change after key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect next year.
Most notably, state health insurance exchanges will begin enrollment in October, and sessions will explore what that means for healthcare providers and how they can manage the uncertainty of how that unfolds.
There will also be significant emphasis on operating under new reimbursement models, including how to get the most out of managedcare contracts and the greater transition from volume to value.
Other notable presenters will include Robert Kolodgy, senior vice president and CFO at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, who will talk about how payers and providers are collaborating on the value-based model; and Dr. Bob Kocher, a former special assistant on healthcare and economic policy in the Obama administration, who will discuss improving price transparency to reduce healthcare costs.
The volume-to-value shift also received attention during last year’s meeting, when HFMA President and CEO Joe Fifer took the stage and told attendees in the lead-up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on healthcare reform that the evolution would come regardless of the justices’ decision.
And now that the future of the Affordable Care Act is cemented, it’s fitting perhaps that this year’s conference brochure opens with the crossed-out words “The way we’ve always done things” and “What now?” scribbled in black marker and underlined twice.