Preparation for health reform's changes will dominate conversation in Vegas

Wendy JohnsonVegas, baby! Hopefully you got the memo; with Nashville still wringing out from a historic flood, the beleaguered event planners at the Healthcare Financial Management Association had to scramble for a new location with barely two months before their biggest event of the year.

It was Vegas to the rescue, with the Sands Expo Center serving as the event HQ, and the Venetian/Palazzo Resort hosting attendees for the "2010 ANI: The Healthcare Finance Conference." If you haven't booked your room yet, better skip the Venetian and call TRUMP International, the official 'overflow' hotel, as the HFMA block of rooms at the Venetian/Palazzo is sold out!

Healthcare reform will once again take center stage. But rather than the 'what ifs' of the final legislation package dominating the conversation, the buzz this year is about how to prepare for such coming changes as scheduled payment cuts and provisions around pricing transparency and tax-exempt status.

It's not all doom and gloom, of course. Reform also will bring many opportunities, including more insured patients (which could prove to be a blessing and a curse for some organizations), funding for hospitals with high volumes of preventable readmissions and demonstration projects around malpractice reform. In fact, one of the first major changes--coverage expansion through temporary, state-based high-risk pools--kicks in during the ANI conference itself, June 21.

We're looking forward to talking with FierceHealthcare and FierceHealthFinance readers to learn how these changes will impact your operations and what you're doing to prepare. Look for me and our Fierce editor, Caralyn Davis, in the sessions. I'll also be hitting the trade show floor with our ace team of sales executives, Lee Petnick and Nikki Thompson. So please introduce yourselves and say hello. There certainly will be a lot for us to talk about! - Wendy