HIMSS18 Recap: CMS Announcement, Interoperability Showcase, & Behavioral Health

HIMSS18 H4 Techcnology

After the dust has settled from HIMSS18, the numbers showed over 43,000 attendees at the conference in Las Vegas.  H4 Technology was proud to be a part of the HIMSS18 Interoperability Showcase a 30,000 square foot exhibition that demonstrates the interoperability imperative for connecting health and care.  H4 Technology discussed how behavioral health and social determinants of health impact population health outcomes and Value Based Care(VBC) initiatives.

In the interoperability showcase, there were connected demonstrations on Value Based Care, Opioid Addiction Care, Public Health Reporting, Collaborative Community Cancer Care, Telehealth & stroke continuum of care, plus many more.   The hot educational topics in the interoperability showcase included standing room only for Blockchain Reset- Seeing through the Hype and Starting down the Path, The Veterans Health Information Exchange, and the VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Program.

CMS announced major changes to promote interoperability and patient access to EHRs.  CMS agency administration Seema Verma received applause when she said CMS is planning a “complete overhaul of meaningful use” even though details are unknown.   CMS also unveiled the MyHealthEData initiative at HIMSS18 which will give patients access to their medical data.  For more on this initiative, please visit the CMS.gov website and announcement here 1.

During the HIMSS18 conference there are around 495 educational sessions, 502 exhibitions, and 102 networking opportunities to engage with other members of the HIMSS community and learn from peer organizations.  Data analytics, privacy & security, telehealth, care coordination, and a patient engagement themes dominated the headlines of these events and interoperability was the key driver from the CMS administration.

It was nice to see behavioral health EMR solutions like Credible Behavioral Health and Netsmart take more of a center stage by having large prime locations in the exhibit hall.   With such an enormous exhibit hall with over 1000 + vendors, I was only able to find 15 exhibitors, H4 Technology included, that were focused on behavioral and mental health solutions.

The behavioral health sub section at HIMSS is growing and this year Social, Psychosocial, and Behavioral Determinants of Health was its own educational topic track.   It is still a small but growing percentage of the overall healthcare IT landscape at HIMSS even though I would argue behavioral health has more of an impact to the whole person care as any of the other topics.  Of the 495 educational topics, only 4 educational sessions were designated to social, psychosocial, and behavioral determinants of health.   I forecast that behavioral health interest will continue to grow in the upcoming years as more and more providers integrate behavioral health into their primary care setting, form partnerships with community behavioral health providers, and as CMS increases/adds additional incentives for behavioral health in their alternative payment models and value-based care incentives.

1 https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-03-06.html

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