DeSalvo and Tavenner Keynote HIMSS 2014 – an online attendee’s perspective

Here are some observations from this morning’s HIMSS 2014 keynote session with Karen De Salvo and Marilyn Tavenner

Karen DeSalvo from the ONC – clearly she is an accomplished and energetic  speaker.  She gave a great ‘rally the troops’ speech about HIT which must have resonated in the hearts of the HIT and HIMSS crowd.  She clearly believes in HIT and its promise, and mentioned interoperability as a chief goal of the ONC. “Patients should not be walled into data because the vendor doesn’t want to share.“  She is clearly on board with administration speaking points regarding the current unsustainability of health care costs.  “It will be hard.  It will be fun! It will be rewarding” She emphasized her data-driven orientation: “ we need to start providing data to inform new models of care.”

Marilyn Tavenner from CMS – After a policy speak discussion of current CMS internal goals and metrics as well as their star system, ears picked up regarding the tailored remarks towards the end of her speech:

On ICD-10 implementation: “Let’s face it guys – we delayed it more than once.  It’s time to move on.  There will be no delay again.”
On Meaningful use stage 2 : “We understand, and hardship exemptions will be granted to providers/vendors but we expect all providers to be MU2 compliant by 2015”
On data : “Data is the lifeblood of our healthcare system.”

Questions asked:

To Tavenner:  Q: Regarding the challenges with stage 2 implementation, what are you able to do and what about deadlines?
A:  examples given of a vendor not ready with stage 2 technology being potentially eligible for an exemption; or a physician not able to meet hard percentages eligible for an exemption.

                           Q: her experiences with healthcare.gov, “lessons learned”

                           A: system integrator was the missing key for a multiply sourced project and they did not have that soon enough.

                           Q: Non-eligible providers.

                           A: excluded on a statutory basis, so little she could do except sympathize.

To DeSalvo:     Q:HIT can help end hunger?

                            A: HIT can help with social service integration

                            Q: Patient identification via HIE/HISP

                            A: Not as difficult as it seems – smart folks are working on patient matching algorithms and demand for this will drive development.

The final comments on the big ideas for the next 5 years: Less fee for service, more care coordination, payment tied to quality, more data being produced to be shared with the public at a reasonable cost.  Finally, DeSalvo described a virtuous feedback loop where available data informs technology that informs care and creates more data, ultimately leading to disruptive change.  (intriguing!)

That’s it for me from HIMMS 2014.  I hope that you found these posts useful and will consider coming back to read some other of my views!