Let’s talk: ESO and Attendees Connect; Day 1

ESO Staff

The first full day of ESO’s 2018 WAVE conference closed with a special discussion between attendees and key ESO executives: CEO Chris Dilie and newly named ESO Chief Medical Officer Brent Myers. After a quick overview of changes in the EMS landscape led by Myers, the floor opened for 45 minutes of questions from the crowd. Those questions largely fell into two categories:

  • Concerns over changes in reimbursement and quality metrics
  • Planned and hoped-for evolutions in the ESO platform

The ESO execs were honest that the details of all the proposed changes and evolutions were still unfolding, but encouraged EMS attendees to take up the challenge of collecting, analyzing and ultimately deploying their data to strengthen their positions in the face of change. Ironically, this frank exchange replaced a planned keynote from Eric Beck, president and CEO of The Clinical Enterprise University of North Texas at Fort Worth, doing a deep dive on healthcare consolidation. Eric bowed out of Wave because of the flu spreading across Texas and the US in general.

Myers opened the session with a 10-minute outline of three themes that will develop in the months and years ahead:

  • The CMS focus on Quality metrics for reimbursement
  • EMS payment reform
  • Private industry and consolidation

Much is yet to be learned about each of these themes, Myers said. But he described CMS quality-based reimbursement regimes as a “game changer” and pointed out that EMS has “a long row to hoe” when it comes to detailing costs of services to meet payment reform concerns. As to industry consolidation, he pointed out different categories of consolidation including CVS Pharmacy and Aetna as well as the potential of the recently announced alliance among Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan.

“This one to me could be a true disruptor,” Myers said.

Questions from attendees took up the rest of the time at the end of a long first day, but the questions came in a thoughtful stream.

  • What should small providers do to get ready for all this change?
  • Will reimbursement systems appreciate that EMS is the only provider with time constraints in arriving on scene and treating patients?
  • Can ESO add pharma data/patient data ahead of call?
  • What other types of firms can ESO partner with to add depth and breadth?

ESO execs acknowledged some uncertainty about how some of the issues around reimbursement will play out. But, they offered both a pledge for ESO’s evolution and a charter for attendees’ own development as healthcare providers in a rapidly changing industry.

Amidst all this change, data is your best resource for better funding and new ideas about EMS’s role.

“We’ve got to help you make the case,” Chris pledged of ESO’s evolutionary path.

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