7 can’t-miss panels at HLTH19

By | October 24, 2019

For a two-year old conference, HLTH grabbed some notable names to convene in Las Vegas next week.

The architects of Shoptalk and Money20/20 netted headliners like Microsoft Healthcare VP Peter Lee, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson, Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux, Google Health head David Feinberg, CVS CEO Larry Merlo, ONC head Don Rucker and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Last year, Feinberg, then the CEO of Geisinger, announced the integrated health system would be offering patients free DNA sequencing, Change Healthcare launched a partnership with Microsoft and ex-CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt debuted a new venture capital firm. 2019’s conference is likely to make similarly big news.

Panel and presentation topics run the gamut from policy challenges to health reform to the role of artificial intelligence chatbots in managing patient care. But, it’s difficult to catch them all.

Here are seven panels worth making time for.

  • Digital Networks Creating Informed Customers of Health

    Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

    As more Americans bear the brunt of rising out-of-pocket costs, more than 80% of internet users search for health-related topics online, turning to sites like Zocdoc, Yelp, Google, WebMD and Facebook for provider reviews, advice, services and diagnoses.

    Researchers from the Health Feedback scientists’ network found of the 10 most-shared health articles online, seven contained false or misleading information. Facebook was by far the largest source of that misinformation.

    On this panel, Freddy Abnousi, head of healthcare research for Facebook will likely address tactics the social media giant has used attempting to gut inaccurate health claims on its site. Among other measures, Facebook said in July it would downrank dubious or sensational health posts in its News Feed.

    Patient advocates are skeptical of big tech companies claiming they’ll protect highly sensitive medical data, especially given renewed speculation Facebook is looking to get its hands on more data for targeted advertising.

    Third-party apps already willingly share data with Facebook to enable the social media giant to match their ads with users. A project wherein Facebook asked several large U.S. hospitals to share de-identified patient data for a research project was put on hold last year amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal and significant public backlash.

    But Facebook’s interest in healthcare goes beyond more pinpointed advertising. The social network giant has rolled out initiatives on radiology, suicide prevention, blood drives, addiction treatment and opioid misuse, to name a few.

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    Abnousi will be joined by Meng Zhang, VP of Internet-focused holdings company Tencent, and Lisa Bookwalkter, director of health for Twitter Client Solutions at Twitter, to chat misinformation and how to avoid it.

  • Blurred Lines of Health

    Sunday at 4 p.m.

    Disruptors like Amazon and Google are quickly making inroads into healthcare, lured by what they see as a mismanaged $ 3.5 trillion industry with a lot of low-hanging fruit like administrative waste and a lack of coordinated care.

    “In the future of health, some will survive, and some will face extinction,” this panel’s description reads. “Who is remapping the health landscape and is there enough terrain to go around?”

    Speakers Tom Waller, SVP Whitespace for lululemon, Jacqueline Shreibati, CMO of medical device company AliveCor, and David Holmberg, president and CEO of integrated health system Highmark Health, will attempt to answer this question.

    Waller, head of the R&D lab of athleisure retailer lululemon, leads a team of 30 developers with backgrounds in science, engineering and materials to determine upcoming product lines.

    As a sports scientist, Waller’s perspective on healthcare is likely to hinge on psychophysiology and social determinants of health, and how everyday factors like how much we exercise and what we wear impacts our wellbeing.

    AliveCor, backed by Qualcomm and Khosla Ventures among others, competes with Apple in the EKG sensor market. The Mountainview, California-based medical device company’s CMO Shreibati is a cardiologist with a background in AI.

    The payer/provider point of view will come from Pittsburg-based Highmark Health CEO Holmberg, fresh off settling tensions with UPMC in June following months of legal battles and years of competition over Pennsylvania’s healthcare market share.

    Highmark’s EVP Brian Setzer called for increased disruption at AHIP’s annual conference this year, from fixing financial incentives to the need for stronger partnerships across disparate healthcare markets. Expect to hear similar language from Setzer’s boss at HLTH.

  • Getting a Jump on Chronic Conditions

    Monday at 8:30 a.m.

    Chronic conditions are a steadily increasing cost driver for healthcare and a boot on the neck of the U.S. economy. According to Fitch Solutions, the fiscal burden of cardiovascular disease alone is expected to double by 2035 to more than $ 1.1 trillion.

    Established healthcare companies and new entrants alike are responding by using health technology assessments, care management and value-based solutions. 

    By taking on risk, DaVita Health Solutions has boasted some impressive results, including roughly 40% fewer hospitalizations and 20% lower cost of care.  

    The group’s President Hank Schlissberg will talk best practices at this panel. He’ll be joined by David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of respiratory health management startup Propeller Health, Julia Hu, CEO and co-founder of chronic disease management platform Lark Health, and Natalie Schneider, Samsung’s VP of digital health.

  • Telehealth’s Tipping Point

    Monday at 9:20 a.m.

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    Interest in the virtual care is climbing among patients of all ages and physicians across multiple care disciplines, but its ROI is still unproven and adoption remains relatively stagnant.

    Patient preference for face-to-face physician visits and regulatory barriers haven’t stopped payers and providers from investing in telehealth as a low-cost way to renew focus on preventive care and health management.

    According to the National Business Group on Health, more than half of large employers plan to implement more telemedicine tools for their employees next year. Physician telehealth use has skyrocketed by 340% since 2015, according to telemedicine vendor American Well.

    Fay Rotenberg Bush, president of concierge medicine startup Firefly Health, Peter Fleischut, SVP and CTO of New York-Presbyterian, and Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, will convene on this panel.

  • Empowering, Educating and Alerting Health Consumers Through Tech

    Monday at 2:50 p.m.

    As the site of care moves increasingly away from traditional medical settings, health tech is one sector aiming to give consumers renewed agency. Digital health is the source of a whopping amount of Silicon Valley interest, receiving a record $ 8.1 billion in funding last year.

    AI-powered apps, blockchain-backed predictive analytics platforms, monitoring technology, smart health stations and more — the industry is flooded with a tsunami of tech-enabled tools. But some studies hint that patient use of the futuristic offerings isn’t as enthusiastic as startups (or their investors) may desire.

    Top execs from health kiosk company higi and blockchain-based AI platform doc.ai will be joined by the CIO of Boston Children’s Hospital on this panel to talk about their offerings and how they can be leveraged in the home and in the hospital — and whether they live up to the hype.

  • Health’s 5 Star Service

    Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

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    For an industry often slammed for flatlining customer satisfaction and lack of price transparency, “Health’s 5 Star Service” may seem like an oxymoron. 

    But some companies are attempting to move the needle on service quality. The panel includes Zocdoc, an online healthcare appointment booking service that provides users with provider ratings, schedules and information about network coverage; healthcare navigation platform Castlight Health; and 98point6, an on-demand, text-based primary care app.

    The CEOs of all three companies will be joined on the panel by Lynne Stockstad, the CMO of Optum, UnitedHealth Group’s health services branch. The business recently made news when it announced it would be linking its population health management business with its in-house data analytics under a risk-based, capitated fee structure to try and better coordinate patient care.

  • Building Care Models from the Inside-Out

    Tuesday at 10:10 a.m.

    More organizations are moving toward value-based care to improve medical quality and lower costs.

    Still, just one in five healthcare payments are value-based, and 10% or less of healthcare revenue comes from risk-based contracts. At the same time, 48 states use at least some form of value-based payment model, and CMS has been rolling out new federal care models in areas like post-acute care and home-based primary care.

    This panel will also focus heavily on the provider perspective, with speakers Dan Liljenquist, SVP and CSO for Intermountain (and the architect of Civica Rx), Jay Bhatt, SVP and chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association, and Rebecca Kaul, VP and CIO of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

    Intermountain recently started a new company that consults with payers and providers to elevate value-based payment reforms by leveraging tech. MD Anderson launched a cancer care payment model five years ago in tandem with UnitedHealthcare and the American Hospital Association has advocated for care delivery models focusing on prevention and coordination.

    The panel is moderated by Ivor Horn, clinical advisor at health and benefits company Accolade, which works with companies like Humana, Independence Blue Cross, Teladoc and Lowes on improving health outcomes.

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