This past week over 5,000 senior leaders in health care descended on Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual HLTH conference to solve health care’s most pressing problems. The event at MGM Grand brought together payers, providers, employers, investors, pharma stakeholders, and policy makers.
Our own CEO Eugene Sayan was a speaker amongst the likes of Mark Cuban and Andy Slavitt. Sayan discussed the digital revolution of claims, billing and payment solutions in which Softheon is leading the way in the health care space.
In case you were not able to attend, here is a recap of the key topics discussed:
Innovating Rural Health Care
In conversations about innovating health care, states are often left out of the conversation, even though Medicaid costs $600 billion dollars and is often the most expensive item in a state’s budget, according to David Muhlestein, Chief Research Officer at Leavitt Partners. The first step to innovating a state’s health care is to understand the concerns of its diverse population, which can include rural populations.
Dr. Susan Turney, who works at the Marshfield Clinic Health System in Wisconsin, acknowledges that her rural patients are older. She says, “When you have an older population, they are generally sicker… and in general they’re poor.” She adds that rural areas lack mass transit, broadband, and cell service, which all limit the opportunities for digital health. The key to the success of Wisconsin’s health care, then, is “rural prosperity.” In the meantime, direct health care services that allow people to stay in their home is critical.
According Lieutenant Governor Valerie Davidson, Alaska, another rural state, depends on the tribal health system to provide health care as these providers have more intimate relationships with the communities. Davidson also said telehealth was the only way the state was able to effectively deliver health care to rural communities. She acknowledged that, like Wisconsin, improved transportation and road systems were imperative to improving health care.
What Comes Next from D.C.
There are currently ten proposals in Washington for “Medicare for all” or “Medicare for more.” The public opinion on these proposals reveals a surprising dichotomy: in a study of 2,000 registered voters, 41% knew not much or nothing about “Medicare for all,” while 70% said it was important for Congress to create such a system. Much of the responses hinged on the wording of the question. According to Katie Mahoney, Vice President of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Kim Monk, Co-Founder and Partner at Capital Alpha Partners, the likelihood of such a system succeeding depends on electoral outcomes and bipartisan support.
Price and quality transparency are issues in Congress that have more bipartisan support. The imperatives of a surprise billing law are two-fold. First, legislators must learn how to protect the consumer from balance billing. Second, legislators must figure out how providers would get reimbursed. Whatever Congress does in this area, it will have an impact on out-of-network rates and in-network-rates. The current committee bill on surprising billing could save 20 billion dollars over ten years and reduce in-network-costs by 15 to 20 percent.
Softheon was also the co-host of the conference’s industry night at Hakkassan Nightclub where Flo Rida performed.