HIMSS’23: Another Round

by | May 2, 2023

Comparisons, Predictions, and the Big Picture

Going to HIMSS this year, I had mixed expectations. Many of the people who I was hoping to meet with had chosen ViVE over HIMSS as it was scheduled back-to back again, like it was in 2022. In March, I felt like I missed a lot by skipping ViVE — my LinkedIn feed was full of posts and the networking seemed to be quite energetic. Having proved its relevance to the market, ViVE will now be covered by the Chilmark team in order to pull together a full picture of the digital health market. For now, let’s focus on HIMSS’23.

Almost the entire CR team went to Chicago (I am sure you have read John Moore’s latest post, if not, please find it here.) HIMSS’23 was very busy and some vendors were even scaled down in booth size with smaller teams on the exhibit floor; nevertheless, conversations were excellent and the atmosphere around it all was very moving. As to sessions, this year I had little interest in them and overall, HIMSS’23 was not a scene for knowledge exchange in the healthcare ecosystem. It is about technology and vendors, about partnerships and marketing. So, take it as it is. Many vendors spent between $28k for a tiny booth to $90k for a medium-sized one and most did get a good business return on it.

As to meeting with friends, executives, and making new connections — it was excellent. Here is my dry squeeze on what is happening now and what we should expect in 2023-24:

Cuts on spending. A recession might not be reflected that much in numbers, but it is very present in people’s minds. Big blow to tech spending on providers’ side. Rough estimate: 5-7% are still willing to aggressively invest in IT, 65-70% significantly cut planned investments, 20-25% are not planning to purchase any new solutions in 2023.

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) has always been among the biggest topics, with increasing financial burden on providers — it’s right in the epicenter of all discussions. Market shakes, but to increase reimbursement rate and decrease spending on RCM staff, providers are willing to pay. Epic and Oracle Cerner have very ambitious plans on revamping their RCM suites and so far, it seems like it’ll draw a totally new horizon for the RCM world.

Hospital-at-Home and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) — slight pull back and slow down. I am sure it’ll be of a short live and is a result of a higher-cost investment demand that is natural for H@H and RPM programs. Telehealth is very much alive and kicking exploring new opportunities.

Pre-authorizations. Automated authorizations are a challenging topic and even though we talk “automated”, the sad reality is “semi-automated” and “labor-intensive”. Had great discussions with Availity and Cohere on technologic complexity of automated auths. 100% automation remains a dream and will remain such for the foreseen future.

Big Picture Stokes

HIMSS is very much alive, and I confidently believe it will remain so regardless of ViVE’s growing popularity, based on what I saw in Chicago. That said, given the break with CHiME, vendors want to see the organization find a better hook for health systems and other buyers to attend to keep pace with ViVE.

2023 will be a year for a great analytics demand. Market is moving fast and broken communication between vendors and providers does need a remedy. In the last week alone, I received more than 20 consult requests on RCM purchase guidance (with average 1-2/week).

To secure market presence it definitely makes sense to attend both HIMSS and ViVE, even at a smaller scale.

Thank you for reading my HIMSS’23 impressions. Please, share your thoughts and opinions below. Also, this year the CR team is releasing individual post-HIMSS notes so please make sure to check out Fatma’s, Jody’s, and John’s contributions!


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