By Melissa Bruno
Don’t let the heat and the glare of flashing neon lights on the Vegas strip distract you at next week’s America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute show (June 9-11). Much like the sun-baked Nevada desert, the payer community has taken quite a beating, particularly over the last year, so it should make for an interesting environment.
Schwartz Communications caught up with Eric Wicklund, managing editor of Healthcare Finance News to get his thoughts before he heads out West. Keeping true to his healthcare finance beat, Eric will be on the lookout to see “whether any big healthcare finance deals will be made or broken on the casino floor or at the poker table.”
Like many vendors, members of the press and attendees, Eric’s most interested in the mood at the show––especially since insurers are being portrayed as the villains in Washington and on Main Street. He wants to know, “will they be apologetic or will they take a hard line on responsibility for rate increases?”
At Institute, make sure to set some time aside to catch the sessions for the latest news, challenges and trends in the payer space––many of them will examine the impact of the healthcare reform bill on payer/provider interactions, the adoption of technology, reimbursement and improving the cost and quality of care, not to mention the renewed interest in wellness and preventative care and the latest hot topic: HIEs. With all that's on the docket, there's ample opportunity to use the conference’s focus on these high-level trends to make your company––and news––relevant to the bigger stories that reporters are going to be focusing on in coming months.
Finally, we’ll leave you with a few PR tips from the strip to help you survive Vegas unscathed:
• Stay hydrated. Between air travel and high temperatures, you won’t be on you’re A-game if you aren’t getting enough H20.
• Know the show. Institute has limited exhibit hall hours––usually centered around food and drink––so if you’re planning on making the rounds to network and see the vendors, know the hours, plan ahead and avoid the snack lines to make the most of your time: Wednesday, June 9: 5-7 p.m., Thursday, June 10: 10-10:30 a.m.; 2:15-3:45 p.m. and 5:45-7:00 p.m. and Friday, June 11: 9:30-10:00 a.m.
Tags: AHIP, Eric Wicklund, Healthcare Finance News
• Gamble with money, not the media. The Institute press room is in Neopolitan IV, but keep in mind that reporters will spend most of their time in meetings or writing stories for pending deadlines, so tread carefully. If you come upon an unoccupied reporter, introduce yourself, hand over a business card and make note to follow-up with them after the show.
See you in Vegas!