CHIME 2019 Fall CIO Forum: Key Themes

By now, 2019 CHIME Fall CIO Forum attendees have returned to their homes across the nation, and to their busy lives as CIOs, CMIOs, and other healthcare executives.  As always, the Forum was a venue to connect with old friends and colleagues, gain knowledge, share best practices, and for many, enjoy the Arizona sun. From the perspective of Laura Kreofsky, Pivot Point Consulting’s Vice President, Advisory Services, here are key takeaways from the conference:

The unspoken theme of the event was “it’s about the data, not technology” as much of the conference was dedicated to sessions and discussions centered on data including:

  • Privacy and security
  • Exchange and interoperability
  • Ownership and portability
  • Usage
  • Quality

The impact of regulatory policy on data and IT strategy, was made clear when over 50 CIOs, CISOs and other leaders attended the Monday, 7:00 a.m. CHIME Policy Priority session to hear updates on regulatory issues and opportunities. The session’s topics included the 21st Century Cures Act and the February 2019 proposed CMS and ONC rules that support the MyHealthEData initiative and the Cures Act. Other hot topics during that session were cybersecurity, interoperability, patient identification, artificial intelligence and value-based care.

There was a palpable energy and anxiety about patient data ownership and access and how impactful the CMS and ONC rules will be of these rules will be fundamentally disruptive to planning and executing technology projects, business relationships and daily operations.

Tuesday morning, the payer / provider interoperability session was standing room only, and filled with lively discussion between payer and provider representatives on questions such as:

  • What is our working definition of data interoperability?
  • How can the massive technical, political and business changes needed for full patient data aggregation and portability be fully implemented in just a few years? Should the responsibility belong to payers or providers?
  • How do we safeguard increasingly vast troves of consumer data?

With no clear answers to these questions on the horizon, session members recognized the need for collaboration between historically competitive market players.  As one attendee quipped, “let’s work together on this, not against one another — we don’t really have any option.” A key outcome of that session was establishing a payer-provider data interoperability workgroup.

Several of the veteran CHIME Fall Forum attendees concluded it was a valuable event, noting session content quality, the impact and influence of the keynotes and, above all, the shared recognition that data are the driving force in healthcare regulation, delivery and innovation.

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