HFMA ANI explores financial impact of accountable care

The work of the Healthcare Financial Management Association's ANI 2011 conference will take place at the Disney World Resort, a hermetically sealed environment where the outside world is miles of highway away.

Much like the Disney parks, which contain five sections (four "lands" and a Main Street), the conference focuses on the same number of themes: reform, value, clinical transformation, accountable care and the revenue cycle. Each of the dozens of sessions at ANI 2011 is designed to address one of these health finance issues.

Accountable care is one of the hot button issues for healthcare professionals both inside and outside of the financial realm. And therefore, it will be covered extensively at the conference.

"There are a number of legal issues that the move to accountable care raises for hospitals," said Douglas Hastings, chair of the board of directors of the law firm Epstein Becker & Green and one of the speakers. "The...most challenging are the antitrust implications, the fraud and abuse implications, and state regulation of provider risk sharing."

At least a half-dozen sessions focus on ACO-oriented topics such as physician employment, shared savings programs, and measuring and monitoring quality outcomes.

We're looking forward to meeting with attendees of the conference and discussing these important issues. Look for me and FierceHealthcare Publisher Wendy Johnson at ANI. We've left our Mickey and Tinkerbell costumes at home, but we'd still be happy to pose for photos and sign autographs. And unlike our counterparts within the Disney theme parks, we can actually speak! - Ron