One event, with twice the energy

Friday, June 19, 2015

In mid-May, I had the pleasure of attending the Northeast Post Acute Care Symposium in Connecticut. The Symposium was this year’s combined meeting of the HOMES and NYMEP associations, joined for the first time.

First, I should say the event was great.

There was an engaged group of attendees from both New England and New York.

There were good networking opportunities, with all meals and breaks taken in the exhibit hall, so exhibitors and attendees had ample time to mingle.

The program was packed with interesting and useful sessions of great interest to the 100 or so providers in attendance.

Andrew Croshaw, president of Leavitt Partners Consulting, kicked off the program with a two-part presentation on how to thrive in an accountable care world. 

That was followed by an afternoon panel session on how providers are coping with new payment models. 

Moderated by Michelle Templin of Managed Healthcare Associates (who began the session with a presentation), the panel consisted of experienced providers giving pointers about how they’re working with new payment models.

The second day involved eight breakout presentations broken into three sessions.

There was also an exhibit hall with more than 50 exhibitors, ranging from well-known national companies to smaller, more local organizations.

I’m relating all this not to tell you what you missed, but to highlight this event as a possible model for other state associations to emulate as they deal with today’s realities of fewer members and lower budgets. 

A couple of things to consider:

• There’s a lot to be said for critical mass. Combining the two events generated lively interaction and an energy that I daresay two individual meetings wouldn’t have had.

Many of the members hadn’t interacted before, so there were some good lunchtime conversations.

The exhibitors also got to see a solid group of potential customers with the expense of traveling to only a single event.

• Second, there are cost savings. While incremental costs are higher with a larger group, there’s only one room rental and greater attendance allows the organizer to negotiate better room pricing for attendees.

Finally, I’d like to give a big shout out to Karyn Estrella, the executive director of HOMES.

There’s no one more enthusiastic about HME or more dedicated to HME providers than Karyn. She put together an excellent event that should make both associations proud. 

I hope other state associations will consider a similar model, both for the sake of economy of scale and, more importantly, for the positive energy brought to the event.

Congratulations to Karyn and the other organizers, and all who attended. Well done!