The nation’s premier accountable care symposium is on the horizon and this year, the fifth, will be held virtually: ‘Opening New Doors to the Future of Health Care’. Register for the Symposium, held December 7-10, 2020, here.


Sometimes the best predictor of future events is to look at past events. At last year’s Symposium, Caravan Health ACO participants and employees, national ACO experts, and health care professionals gathered in Scottsdale to attend breakout sessions, network with peers, and listen to presentations on successful population health practices in ACOs. One keynote speaker was Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Cohen challenged the “room full of change-makers” to focus on health opportunities and support our communities.


Symposium attendees heard from speakers who spoke to the social determinants of health and how to recognize signals and signs that are present but may not be so obvious. Many leaders and hospital administrators sat in on presentations about financial sustainability and learned how to successfully take on risk. Professionals from across the nation discussed best ACO practices for rural and urban settings.


Caravan Health plans to provide another successful experience this year with keynote speakers and breakout sessions – all to be held virtually due to the obvious disruption the global pandemic has caused. To gain an understanding of the impact that this year’s Symposium will likely have, read what past participants, Greg Ruberg, President/CEO at Lake View Hospital, Todd Sandberg, CEO at Riverwood Healthcare Center, Dr. Jennifer Forsyth at Winona Health, Kara Redenius, RN at Iowa Specialty, and Kathy Sawyer, RN at Witham Hospital had to say:


This year’s theme is ‘Opening the Doors to the Future of Health Care’. What does the 2020 theme say to you?
GR: This year’s theme suggests the changing landscape of health care, the need to embrace new models of care delivery, the importance of innovation, and that Caravan Health is a partner that will engage in the journey with us.  We need to continue to embrace value-based health care and reimbursement as an organization, and we need to deliver results in this new model. 


TS: It speaks to me about innovation. During the pandemic the healthcare industry has faced within recent months, multiple organizations have risen above and accelerated providing care in new and innovative ways. Virtual care was fast-tracked with our team and completed in a matter of weeks. Healthcare organizations are being pushed into the future at a rapid pace. Those that adapt, are responsive, able to move quickly, and open to change will have an edge in this new environment to capture more patients looking for different options for care. 
 
What have you gained from attending past Symposiums?
JF: The Symposium has provided the most up-to-date information on the changing policies of CMS.  The physician leader sessions provide helpful education and methods to drive organizational change and policy.  The breakout sessions highlight others who have succeeded at certain aspects of ACO requirements, allowing me to take this back to my own organization and push ahead for improvement. 

KR: One session that stood out last year was a speech from a rural health clinic. The nurse shared the stories of getting folks in for wellness visits and how the clinic came together as a team to build a process and add these appointments to the front of the clinic agenda.
 
TS: Following the two years we attended, the team went through a process at the end of the meeting to identify the key takeaways from the symposium. Upon returning to Riverwood the items identified as the greatest potential opportunities for the organization were sent out in an excel spreadsheet with a few questions asking the team to rate each potential initiative.  The responses were aggregated, from which we took the top 3-5 items and wrote SMART goals for each of these initiatives. I believe this provided the team with a level of focus that allowed us to move the needle in several areas we are measuring through the ACO. 
 
KS: It has been helpful to hear how other health systems achieve success. Last year was my third symposium, I thought it was the best yet.
 
Why would you recommend the Symposium to your peers?
GR: The Symposium has been an effective way to connect with other ACO partners across the country to learn best practices, problem-solve, hear success stories, and to network with other leaders who are on the same journey with us. The structure of the Symposium provides the opportunity to dedicate valuable time away from our organizations to focus on ACO strategy, innovations, and opportunities for process improvement in our own respective ACOs when we get back home.  


JF: The opportunity to hear from my peers is enlightening and encouraging. I’m always surprised to hear about other organizations enduring the same struggles, and it’s very helpful to have new ideas and solutions to problems we all encounter.
 
What do you think about the decision to hold this year’s Symposium virtually?
JF: I’m glad there will be a Symposium, I wish it could be held in person.
 

GR: It is not ideal, but I completely understand and support the decision. I look forward to the next in-person Symposium. 
 

Early bird registration now available – save your seat for the 2020 Virtual Accountable Care Symposium today!

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