The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference was a huge event that took place in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with 44,000 participants staying across 90 hotels, visiting 1,200 exhibitors. As a first-timer, I took the seasoned participants’ suggestions for comfortable footwear and laced up my sneakers to traverse the expanse of hallways, exhibit halls, and meeting rooms, inhaling all I could. The tagline for the year was “Champions of Health Unite.”
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As insurance industry carriers, vendors, and assorted observers descended upon Toronto last week for Insurance-Canada’s Technology Conference (ICTC), several questions emerged about the readiness of Canadian insurance carriers to embrace innovations such as Software-as-a-Service/cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and robotic process automation.
First and foremost, it is important not to confuse lack of desire with lack of readiness. Many insurance carriers at ICTC expressed a strong desire to integrate these types of innovations into their operations. Yet, at the same time, these carriers acknowledged that they faced hurdles to adopting innovation.
With one move, CMS declared price transparency as the new black: CMS rang in the new year with a ruling that mandates that hospitals provide patients with a current set of standard charges for all services they offer. This move provides patients with a digitally accessible menu of fees and prices for medical procedures and services. One factor that drove the CMS announcement was upset patients on the hook for paying cryptic medical bills with limited understanding of the reasoning behind each charge.