AHIP 2018: Digital innovation discussions run deep in this year's agenda

By Matt Kuhrt
As the entire healthcare ecosystem becomes increasingly digital, this year’s America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference features plenty of opportunities to dig deeper into new, cutting-edge tools.
Digital innovation and high-value disease targets such as diabetes and opioid addiction will be among the topics on tap at concurrent sessions held during the AHIP Institute and Expo 2018 in San Diego. Here is a sample of some of the more noteworthy offerings.

Wednesday, June 20

Navigating Care Choices: How to Help Consumers Shop for Value (3:45 p.m.)
A panel discussion will tackle strategies to point healthcare consumers toward choices aligned with higher-value care. The session will include information on improving cost awareness among patients through reference pricing and transparency tools.
Panelists include Tom Meier, vice president of market solutions for Health Care Service Corporation, Kristof Stremikis, M.P.P., M.P.H., director of market analysis and insight at California Health Care Foundation, and Christopher Whaley, Ph.D., an associate policy researcher with the RAND Corporation.
Implementing Technology and Internal Processes to Support the Consumer Experience of the Future (4:40 p.m.)
Technological innovation forms the basis for a panel discussion that seeks to map out strategies to deliver the next generation of patient-focused care at scale.
Panelists include Sarah Ahmad, senior vice president of innovation and transformation strategy at Highmark Health, Neil Gomes, chief digital officer and senior vice president of technology innovation and consumer experience at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and Vidya Raman-Tangella, a healthcare innovation leader and futurist who has collaborated in the past with Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson, and United Healthcare.

Thursday, June 21

Improve Clinical and Financial Outcomes Amid a National Health Crisis (11:25 a.m.)
John J. Donahue, CEO of axialHealthcare, and Mark Mahler, M.D., regional vice president and medical director of Amerigroup Tennessee will discuss strategies for improving network outcomes in regions devastated by the opioid epidemic.
The session will focus on Medicaid patients, who receive high rates of painkillers. Those statistics have recently generated legislative moves to attempt to limit initial prescriptions and a crackdown by federal law enforcement agencies on physicians that overprescribe medications.
Digital Technology Innovation in Health Care: Are We Going Far Enough? (1:30 p.m.)
A panel discussion will look at the current state of play among investors, entrepreneurs and payers producing and promoting digital healthcare technology. Panelists will discuss whether stakeholders have acted aggressively enough to generate the sufficient progress across the industry.
Panelists include Bob Kocher, M.D., a partner at Venrock, John Lock, entrepreneur in residence at the MedStar Institute for Innovation and interim chief digital officer of MedStar Health, Tisson Mathew, chief technology officer of Alignment Healthcare, and Alan Warren, chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering at Oscar Insurance.
An Rx for Good Health: Bringing Innovation to Diabetes Management (3:00 p.m.)
The range of behavioral interventions that improve the lives of diabetes patients forms the core of this practical session. The relatively simple measures available for improving health outcomes in this space provide fertile ground for health plans looking to trim the cost of a historically expensive condition.
Ann Baker, vice president of care management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and Kenneth E. Smith, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer and vice president of medical services for Inter Valley Health Plan will lead the discussion.

Friday, June 22

Bringing Amazon-Style Innovation to Health Care CX (9:50 a.m.)
Pamela Peele, Ph.D., chief analytics officer of UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Enterprises, will join Laurent Rotival, senior vice president of strategic technology solutions and chief information officer for Cambia Health Solutions, to discuss innovations necessary to deliver consumer healthcare experiences on par with common transactions in other industries.
The session will review platforms that encourage better engagement through seamless transactions and the provision of on-demand care as the healthcare industry continues to brace for the potential impact of the Berkshire-Amazon-JPMorgan Chase partnership.

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