HIMSS 2014: Hillary Clinton headlines keynote speaker lineup

Bill was the marquee keynote at HIMSS 2013; Hillary headlines the 2014 show--so which Clinton will get more applause from the crowd? Perhaps it's the one whose name is often associated with another year--2016--these days.

OK, we can't say for sure which one will garner the most excitement, but we do know the room will be packed when the former first lady, New York state senator and secretary of state (pictured) takes the stage at this year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's conference in Orlando, Fla. on Wednesday, February 26 at 4:30 p.m.

As first lady, Clinton advocated for universal healthcare, and worked to establish both the Children's Health Insurance Program and Early Head Start.

In 2007, then-Sen. Clinton proposed a sweeping healthcare law similar to the Affordable Care Act while on the presidential trail.

Mark Bertolini, chief executive officer of Aetna, will kick off the week with his keynote on Monday at 8:30 a.m. In an interview with HIMSS, he said he's seen the healthcare system "from every angle," which has convinced him the medical system needs to be better integrated and focus on patient-centered care.

What can HIMSS attendees expect to hear from Bertolini at the conference? The CEO plans on speaking on patient engagement, data analytics and interoperability programs at Aetna.

"The time is right that we move to an integrated healthcare model--one that fits the needs of healthcare consumers and is designed around them," he said in the interview. "I expect to share our vision for this model and the reasons compelling us to change."

Marilyn Tavenner, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, and Karen DeSalvo, M.D., the new national coordinator for health IT, take the stage on Thursday, February 27 at 8:30 a.m.

This will be the first time DeSalvo (right) speaks to such a large audience in her new role--though she recently spoke at the Health Care Innovation Day event in Washington, D.C., listing five keys to interoperability that would help ease the "slow boil of healthcare in the U.S."

DeSalvo also stressed the importance of population health at January's Health IT Policy Committee meeting, saying doctors, providers, the government and patients all need to broaden their thinking. Patients live in many other places than in the doctor's office and hospital, she said, and ideas about interoperability matter for aging in place, acute care and everyday wellness. Getting there is going to be a "complex and exciting endeavor," she said.

Tavenner is a frequent speaker, of course, defending the controversial data hub that connects state health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act with federal agencies, for example. She's remained positive during the rollout of HealthCare.gov, seeing it through security and enrollment issues, which will likely be a topic of conversation at this year's show. 


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