AHIP 2024 kicks off this week. Here are 3 trends to watch

Thought leaders from across the insurance industry will descend on Las Vegas this week for AHIP's annual conference, kicking off three days of discussions on the biggest issues facing payers.

The Fierce Health Payer team will also be making the journey to Sin City, so keep an eye out for our coverage over the next several days. Ahead of the event, here's a look at three key trends we expect to hear plenty about across panels, keynotes and meetings.

Are there topics you're looking for? Let Noah Tong and I know on social media, and keep a lookout for us at the show!

GLP-1 costs and shortages remain center-stage

Challenges with the cost of and access to GLP-1 products continue to be top of mind for healthcare leaders, and the insurance sector is no exception.

Sessions Wednesday will kick off with a panel on these drugs and the potenial they present in addressing obesity. The panel will feature speakers from Highmark, NYU Langone Health, WeightWatchers and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. 

GLP-1s will also feature in multiple panels and presentations throughout the week.

Multiple payers and pharmacy benefit managers have launched weight and obesity management programs over the past year, and a key focus within those initiatives is ensuring the patients who need these drugs can access them and that they're being used appropriately.

As the data grow on these products and their efficacy, both government and private insurers have widened coverage.

Continued talk about the implementation of value-based care

Value-based care may be the topic with the greatest representation on the AHIP agenda this year, and that likely comes as no surprise. Payers want to make these models work, given the potential for savings and improved outcomes, but implementation challenges remain.

Panels at the conference include a focus on value-based specialty services, the role VBC can play in addressing health equity and disparities and the strategies necessary to make these models sustainable.

Other segments will also delve into the public health infrastructure and what can be done to enhance this critical segment. AHIP will host a two-part keynote on public health featuring speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the White House's Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, the City College of New York and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Value-based care lessons from Medicare Advantage and the state of that program are also on the docket.

Cutting through the AI hype

There is plenty of intrigue—and fear—about the potential of AI in healthcare.

AHIP will open Thursday's sessions with a panel that aims to break through the noise and dig into the promise of this technology to revolutionize healthcare. It will feature speakers from AmeriHealth Caritas, Microsoft, the National AI Advisory Committee and AHIP itself.

The conference will also host a panel on striking the balance between the human connection in healthcare and critical technological innovation.