HIMSS16: Federal officials on hand to provide program updates, advice

Technology is at the core of the federal government's plans to improve the nation's healthcare system. From shifting to payment models based on care quality over quantity to strengthening cybersecurity throughout the industry, a proper IT infrastructure is needed to support current and emerging efforts.

Because of that, there will be no shortage of federal health officials in attendance at this year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual meeting in Las Vegas, Feb. 29-March 4.

For instance, Health and Human Services Department Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will kick off the conference on Monday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m., with a keynote speech that will touch on how technology continues to alter the healthcare landscape; she'll also discuss the growing importance of patient engagement efforts by providers, health agencies and others.

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo (pictured) is scheduled to speak twice on Tuesday, March 1: once in a solo effort focusing on shared responsibility within healthcare to improve patient care and outcomes and lower costs, starting at 8:30 a.m.; and then at 5:30 p.m., with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.

Other federal government-led sessions at HIMSS16 will include:

  • ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage will take part in two listening sessions--on Tuesday, March 1, at 3 p.m., and Wednesday, March 2, at 3:15 p.m.--both focusing on privacy and security issues, particularly regarding the use of mobile devices.
  • ONC Director of the Office of Standards and Technology Steve Posnack, on March 2, at 2:30 p.m., will discuss federal standards, the Interoperability Standards Advisory, certification and the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.
  • ONC Chief Nursing Officer Rebecca Freeman, on March 2, at 11:30 a.m., and Thursday, March 3, at 1 p.m., will hold listening discussions focusing on nursing informatics, interoperability and cultural barriers to health IT adoption.

Government officials also will be available to meet and greet HIMSS attendees at the Federal HIT Pavilion (Booth 10109-5) throughout the week.

To learn more:
- check out the full roster of federal government speakers

Read more on