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Monday, February 20, 2017

#HIMSS17 in Orlando

I'm sure it will be interesting again, but I'm not attending this year. The uncertainty of my Jaco's looming demise was a major factor. Now that he's gone (sadly had to put him down Friday), I'm still heavy with mourning. He wasn't a "pet," he was a canine family member, a total delight. At 15 years old, he still had the rambunctious playfulness of a puppy. We were lucky to have found him in 2003 (on a freeway ramp in Las Vegas, about to be run over).

I'll just follow the HIMSS trade press reports like everyone else. Last time they held the show in Orlando was 2014. I was there. I first covered the HIMSS conferences in 2012, in Las Vegas (where I was living at the time, working for the Meaningful Use REC). The 2013 conference in NOLA was great fun. As was the 2016 conference, back in Las Vegas.

Next up for me on the conference front will be this year's "AARP Innovation 50+" event, which has expanded from a one-day conference to two days.

Will continue this week with my "STEM the Denialism" effort, and try to get caught up on my endless reading.

Also, visit the excellent new site "Calling Bullshit."

"What do we mean, exactly, by the term bullshit? As a first approximation, bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence.

While bullshit may reach its apogee in the political domain, this is not a course on political bullshit. Instead, we will focus on bullshit that comes clad in the trappings of scholarly discourse. Traditionally, such highbrow nonsense has come couched in big words and fancy rhetoric, but more and more we see it presented instead in the guise of big data and fancy algorithms — and these quantitative, statistical, and computational forms of bullshit are those that we will be addressing in the present course."





Interesting. She says that HIMSS18 will be again back in Las Vegas.

I searched the HIMSS17 news every day this week. Didn't see much beyond the usual corporate press release re-writes. The industry looks quite healthy (HIMSS, an $80+ million a year "non-profit" business, certainly is), but "transformational" IT innovations seem to be sparse at this point.

Uncertainties surrounding looming Trump administration / GOP policy reforms seem to be key this year.

I'd have certainly attended this:

February 21, 2017 — 02:30PM EST - 03:30PM EST
Orange County Convention Center
W320, Chapin Theater
Session ID: 133

This session calls on two health policy experts for a discussion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and efforts underway to implement reforms to our healthcare system.  The current state of ACA implementation will be discussed as well as what issues need to be addressed in “repeal and replace” scenarios currently being considered in the US Congress as well as well as the Trump Administration.  Attendees can expect to gain knowledge on the critical health reform issues and outcomes being discussed by both Republicans and Democrats.

Jonathan Gruber, PhD
Yevgeniy Feyman
Gruber, 'eh? Press report of the session:
Policy Experts Explain the Trouble with Repeal and Replace
February 22, 2017 | Healthcare Reform
By Gabriel Perna

Repeal and replace is easier said than done.

present, and future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, held in Orlando.

Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ACA architect with the Obama administration, was joined by Yevgeniy Feyman, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a policy research organization, to give an overview of the challenges in repealing and replacing the health law. They also discussed the merits of the ACA, a collapse of the insurance market, and much more in an hour-plus session.

Gruber didn't mince words when asked to predict the road ahead for an ACA replacement. "It was a hard process to pass the Affordable Care Act. It was a year-plus process with a filibuster majority. I honestly don't see a replacement. I don't see how Republicans get enough Democrats to switch over, [and] not filibuster the law. You can't replace through direct reconciliation, you can repeal, but not replace. I honestly don't see it replaced," Gruber said.

Feyman was a little less skeptical, saying the plan proposed by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), which allows states to go their own way with the ACA is potentially more "palatable." However, he also said he didn't think a repeal was going happen as enough Republicans will get on board.

The fact that every replacement plan proposed by Republican congressmen increases the uninsured is a significant roadblock, Gruber said, adding that repealing the law outright would cause 32 million to lose health coverage. There are 20 million who picked up insurance through the law and 12 million more through a collapse of the insurance market, he said. He also noted that insurance premiums would double.

"This is what the [Congressional Budget Office] said, this is not biased Jon Gruber," he said. The CBO predicted that the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies would cause up to 32 million to lose coverage by 2026...
Interesting news coverage all week of numerous GOP "town hall" constituent meetings replete with angry people now flipping out over the realization that they may soon be without health insurance. But, hey, House Speaker Paul Ryan will "Put patients back in control of their health care." HSA's, vouchers, block grants, problem solved.

Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker will continue to avail himself of his 70% subsidy, generous FEHB program.


Interesting book review over at SBM:
Daniel and Tana Amen’s Book The Brain Warrior’s Way: Standard Health Advice Mixed with Misinformation and Fanciful Ideas
Daniel Amen, the media-savvy psychiatrist and promoter of SPECT scans, has teamed-up with his wife Tana to write a self-help book that hopelessly muddles good medical advice with misinformation and speculation
So much neurobabble, so little time. SBM is a great site.

@Health2con update
A Million Jobs in Healthcare’s Future

More to come...

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