SXSW, AHIP and ACHE announce conference cancellations due to COVID-19 concerns

The coronavirus has caused more healthcare conferences to close. 

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the top insurance industry lobby, announced late Friday it will not hold its National Health Policy Conference or National Conference on the Individual and Small Group Markets planned for March 18-20 in Washington.

“The health and safety of our conference speakers, attendees, and staff come first,” said Matt Eyles, president and CEO of AHIP. “That’s why we are taking this proactive, preventative action.”

The American College of Healthcare Executives also decided to cancel its 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership that was expected to take place March 28 in Chicago. 

"We understand and support our members and other leaders—and the need to respond effectively to patient and community concerns," the group said late Friday.

The cancellations came on the heels of the cancellation of South By Southwest, better known as SXSW—which has a healthcare track in addition to other events on music, film and comedy—set to begin March 13.

The festival said in a statement the city of Austin decided to cancel, even though a few days ago it said the event could go forward. 

The spread of the coronavirus has accelerated across the U.S. New figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Friday said that 164 people have been infected with the respiratory illness. 

The Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society announced Thursday it will cancel its landmark health IT conference.