What to expect at the Health IT Leadership Summit: Q&A with the Summit Chair

What to expect at the Health IT Leadership Summit: Q&A with the Summit Chair

By Dodge Communications on September 19th, 2013

As we approach the fourth annual Health IT Leadership Summit which will be taking place next month in Atlanta, I spoke with the 2013 Summit Chair and Chief Operating Officer at Karna, Wayne Myers, about how the event will bring together some of the industry’s best to discuss the future of healthcare IT as we face major changes in 2014 as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We asked Wayne to discuss the goals for the Summit, how this year’s theme ties into the future of health IT and why you need to be attending this event if you’re involved in healthcare in the Southeast.

Dodge: What are the overall goals of the Health IT Leadership Summit?
Myers: The Health IT Leadership Summit is an annual event designed to promote collaboration and idea sharing among health industry leaders and stakeholders in an ongoing effort to advance the HIT industry, and promote economic and job growth in Georgia and Atlanta. The Summit is hosted through collaboration among the Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The event on November 12, 2013, will be our fourth Summit.

Dodge: What is this year’s theme and how does it tie into the future of health IT?
This year’s theme is Technology’s Role in Revolutionizing Healthcare. As we face major changes to healthcare in 2014 as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there is both the opportunity and the need to define the future of healthcare in the nation. The Summit will bring together key stakeholders in a timely discussion about the changes to the industry under the ACA – much of which goes into effect on January 1, 2014. As healthcare transitions from a fee-for-service model to one based on the quality and utility of care provided, healthcare organizations will need to adopt innovative care approaches and technologies to improve their managed population’s health and the quality and cost of healthcare. Industry leaders including Jeff Arnold, CEO of ShareCare, and Dr. Reed Tuckson, Chief of Medical Affairs for UnitedHealth Group will share their insights into what the future may bring to the industry.

In addition to our featured speakers, the Summit’s program will address key topics that are critical to achieving the objective including an exploration of New Care Paradigms; that is, how healthcare will operate under new funding and care models, including insights into successful Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the new Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX). We will discuss Patient Centered Healthcare, tackling questions as: How is healthcare evolving to managed a defined population’s healthcare needs with increasing patient demand-driven delivery systems? And, how are providers focusing on patient engagement and accountability to achieve lower costs and quality outcomes? Lastly, we have seen many industries completely changed due to the the adoption of Disruptive Technologies. In the context of healthcare, we will examine how technologies are revolutionizing healthcare including seemingly futuristic technologies that are available today.

Dodge: As the Summit approaches its fourth year, how has it expanded over the years and why should those involved in health IT in Georgia or the southeast attend?
Myers: The Summit has progressively grown each year in terms of the topics, number of participants, sponsors and caliber of speakers. The first year saw us start a dialogue about what was needed by the region’s HIT cluster to accelerate its growth. In the second year, we focused the Summit on the important areas identified in the first year, including ensuring the HIT industry was supported through workforce development, capital infusion, favorable public policy and technology innovations. Last year, we modeled the Summit after what a company would do through a strategic planning process. That is, defining a compelling future state and the current state of the HIT industry, identifying gaps between the two, and planning as an HIT community how we could progress to that future state. This year, the very obvious 800-pound gorilla is healthcare reform and how the legislation and transformation of the industry affects the future state and the path to that future. 

Dodge: What message would you like to send to potential attendees about the benefits they will experience if they choose to attend the Summit?
The ACA-mandated changes that go into effect on January 1, 2014, are some of the most dramatic changes to the healthcare industry perhaps in our lifetime, yet surveys have shown that people don’t understand what’s coming. While those of us who work daily in the healthcare industry likely have a general notion about what to expect, hearing directly from CEOs, CIOs, and other senior health industry executives about what their organizations plan to do and how they see the future unfolding will be invaluable. Said another way, if anyone already knows what the future of healthcare in America looks like, I’d love to meet them because we will find a place on the agenda for that level of insight.