NHIA's 'transcendental' event

Friday, February 24, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - It's been two years since the healthcare reform bill became law, but home infusion providers, like most providers, remain uncertain what the future holds.

To that end, the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) has built its annual conference around the theme of "Transcending Uncertainty." The event takes place April 23-26 in Phoenix.

"Health care is a moving target as far as what the shape of it will look like in the future," said Nancy Kramer, vice president of clinical affairs for NHIA. "The idea is to bring our industry together to network and collaborate on what that future should look like and how we can shape it."

New approaches to managing care, like accountable care organizations, and an increasingly hostile reimbursement environment mean that providers need to speak out--or get left behind.

"There's really a call to do more with less," said Steve Jurich, vice president of operations and chief operating officer for NHIA. "We want to get out ahead of and engage key stakeholders, including the government and including payers, so that we can find the best possible approaches to deliver quality care."

Conference sessions are organized into four tracks: clinical, leadership and management, sales and marketing, and reimbursement. There's also an executive pre-conference, featuring a "CEOs Unplugged" panel discussion, in which CEOs will field questions about the challenges and opportunities that keep providers awake at night.

The keynote speaker, Jeff Skiles, was the co-pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which landed safely on the Hudson River in 2009 after encountering a flock of geese.

In the face of extreme uncertainty, Skiles, his co-workers, and the ground crew pulled together, said Jurich.

"In the midst of that crisis, what got them through safely was their training, the way they worked as a team, the way they communicated, and the way they problem solved," said Jurich. "Those are the exact elements that home infusion providers bring to the craft that they do every day."