6 Key Takeaways from HIMSS18

HIMSS18 is in the rearview mirror, but the annual conference packed 43,000 attendees and considerable opportunities for exploring new trends and information technologies to take back to the office. Below, our Advisory Services leadership team shared a few key takeaways from the week.

Laura Kreofsky | VP Advisory Services

Time to Flip the Footprint?
The sheer size and sprawl of HIMSS challenges even the most hard-core Exhibitor Hall trooper. Out of necessity, a targeted vendor and/or technology strategy was needed. But it’s more than that. The big vendors and their big vendor booths crowded out the innovators. What would HIMSS look like if the footprint was flipped—if the startup tech vendors, think tanks and service firms had front-and-center prominence on the main Hall while the behemoth vendors’ booths shrunk from the size of a football field to a modest space, down in the basement Hall, nestled between the hot-dog stand and facilities? What truly new ideas, systems, solutions would be the buzz?

Telemedicine’s Time
Speaking of flipping paradigms and HIMSS footprints, telemedicine vendors like AmericanWell and Teladoc had a noticeably large presence at HIMSS. Their visibility, a number of educational sessions on telemedicine, and the constant industry buzz about new telemedicine funding and models has—or should have—health systems getting serious about their telemedicine strategies, deployment models (make/buy/partner) and systems….and in that order.

Geoff Roten | Partner

M&A Due Diligence:  IT is Front and Center
The formation of ever-larger integrated health systems continues. The goals of these merged systems remain: extending market reach, improving their cost basis, and shifting to population health and value based care.

IT is playing a more valuable role in the M&A diligence process in identifying application integration challenges, budget rationalization, cyber risk, aging platforms, HIPAA violations and misaligned technology. Conversely, business executives  now routinely scrutinize IT in terms of staffing levels, mix and cost, service delivery issues, Capex and opex spending patterns, needs for immediate investment and post-merger cost savings.

Peyman Zand | Partner

HIMSS and Health2.0 – Shifting from Implementation to Innovation
HIMSS18 combined the conference with Health 2.0, which is their most recent acquisition. There were many sessions and workshops around technology innovation. The technologies showcased had value props ranging from offering improved security to cost reduction, to patient outcomes, and the target audiences were investors and venture capital firms. The extent of engagement of/from the provider community, however, was unclear.

Interoperability is Still a Major Challenge
Exchange of health information between organizations and between systems is still in its infancy. The US healthcare industry remains hampered by the lack of a robust data model, shifting CMS/ONC programs and priorities, and disparate state, local and enterprise strategies.  Interoperability and ETL technologies, processes and standards remain critical component to support health data exchange.


Jon Melling | Partner

Value Based Care Persists
Whether VBC initiatives are promoted and suggested by CMS or not, the industry appears committed to moving towards value. This impacts EMRs and other foundational systems and also changes the way organizations work around patient access and revenue cycle management. It will also demand closer engagement with the patient.

Have questions or wish to discuss these takeaways in more detail?  Set up a time to chat with our Advisory Services team.