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Care Management – What to Look For at HIMSS16

by Matt Guldin | March 01, 2016

With the completion and release of the Care Management Market Trends Report last week, I arrived out in sunny and warm Las Vegas for the HIMSS16 Conference.

I just wanted to post a brief list of things I will be looking for in particular at HIMSS16 in regards to Care Management:

Buzzword potential – Is ‘population health management’ going to remain the marketing buzzword of the conference among vendors again or instead will it be ‘care management’ or even ‘care coordination?’ I am interested how vendors are defining and using these 3 terms. We have definitions for each in the Care Management Market Trends Report but I am curious to see how well they will align with vendors and providers.

New entrants – For the Care Management Market Trends Report report, we talked to ~80 vendors, profiled 22 vendors in-depth, and talked to a number of emerging and startup vendors. I am expecting this market over the next 12-18 months to get even more crowded as vendors latch on it as the next key area of health IT solution revenue growth. For vendors that are planning to enter this market, I am interested to see how they plan on carving out a unique niche or position given the already crowded market place.

Partnership activity – Even with aggressive product road maps, care management vendors are going to have to partner to address a broad set of product requirements. I am interested to see where the most active areas of partnership activity will be in the upcoming year especially around the areas of remote patient monitoring, evidence-based content, and referral management.

End user configurability – Some care management vendors are stressing how various parts of their solution have a high degree of user configurability including evidence-based content and care team work flow. I am interested to see what vendors are emphasizing at the booths and if this is something being mentioned as a key product differentiator.

Automation – Care management solutions today still have a high degree of end user input or manual work arounds. I am looking to see if there are areas where there is a greater degree of automation that requires less user input especially around patient assignment to a care team/care manager and care team workflow.

Incorporating the patient, their caregivers, and non-clinician – Besides providing basic access to the care plan through a portal (patient portal), I am interested to see if care management vendors are providing mobile accessibility to patients and how caregivers and non-clinicians are being given access to these solutions.

Mobile – Just as everyone will be highly dependent upon their smartphone at HIMSS to successfully navigate the conference, mobile accessibility and functionality is going to be increasingly important for provider-led care management. Not only are some nurse care managers working in a decentralized staffing model where they rotate to various clinics and offices but office other care team members (e.g., social workers, home health aides) will also rely upon mobile access. I want to see how vendors are planning to address this including if they are creating specific mobile applications or just creating mobile-enabled screens.

Embedded intelligence – I am not as interested in the initial criteria that is utilized to sort and stratify a population for possible enrollment into care management programs but what capabilities are vendors building in to help nurse care managers work through their daily list of activities besides daily scheduled and overdue tasks. Additionally, I am looking to see what tools and solutions vendors are providing to nurse care manager supervisors to help them understand how well their current programs are or not working including insights into where the bottlenecks and breakdowns may lie.

I am looking forward to meeting with a number of Chilmark Research clients and vendors at HIMSS to discuss the Care Management Market Trends Report along with other issues related to care management and care coordination. If you have any suggestions or feedback, I would love to hear it but I hope this gives you a useful list of things to consider for your conversations this week.

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