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Heavy hitters tackle ACOs, exchanges, savings

It's the end of healthcare as we know it now that implementation of some health reform law requirements has begun. Health insurers are still trying to wrap their collective brains around all the new responsibilities and changes they face under health reform; consequently, many feel as though their world has been through the healthcare version of the apocalypse.

That's why many of the big players in health insurance will be gathering at the AHIP Institute 2011 next week in San Francisco. They're hoping to learn how to operate within the new health insurance exchanges, create successful accountable care organizations, and prevent rising healthcare costs, among many other sometimes confounding issues.

"Health reform is definitely the hot topic," AHIP spokesperson Robert Zirkelbach told me. "Included in that will be ACOs, health insurance exchanges, and activity in the states." He added that there will also be a lot of discussion about delivery system reform and controlling the soaring cost of medical care. 

AHIP seems to recognize health payers' despair and has stepped up to the plate, packing the agenda with success stories from specific insurance companies that could inspire you into thinking the health reform changes might actually be manageable, keynote speakers who will depict their vision of healthcare's future, and many examples of how states should be involved in health reform. Plus, medical-loss ratios, healthcare fraud, and preventive healthcare will be discussed throughout the conference. There's truly something for everyone this year.

And, since there's an app for just about everything imaginable, this year's AHIP Institute is no exception. You can now download an AHIP Institute 2011 app to your smartphone to access agendas, session descriptions, speaker information, events, the exhibit hall floor plan, and sponsor/exhibitor information. I've already downloaded mine and am delighted to have all the conference information I need literally at the palm of my hand, at the tap of my finger, at a moment's notice. Okay, I think you get the point.  

We're looking forward to meeting FierceHealthPayer readers in person and talking about your interests, ideas, and challenges in your organizations. Look for me and our Fierce publisher, Wendy Johnson, in the sessions. And be sure to find our sales team, Lee Petnick and Nikki Thompson, in the exhibit hall. We hope you'll introduce yourselves and say hello! - Dina

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