At the end of January, the Tennessee HIMSS Chapter hosted an exclusive healthcare executive roundtable meeting featuring U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn. This event focused on Nashville’s unique and pivotal role in the nation’s healthcare system with attendees sharing with Senator Blackburn, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, how Nashville and Tennessee based organizations are driving innovation. Key topics included the regulation of AI and advanced algorithms in healthcare, telehealth and virtual care, and the future of CMS payment models and Value-Based Care. The meeting emphasized proactive engagement in shaping the healthcare landscape with a call for participants to share their contributions to inform federal policy in Washington.

Key Topics:

  • CMS Payment Models and Value-Based Care: The shift towards Value-Based Care models and the future of CMS payment structures were critically examined. Participants discussed how these models could be refined and better aligned with the current healthcare needs.
  • Telehealth and Virtual Care: The expansion of telehealth services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, was a major topic. The discussion highlighted the need for continued support and development of virtual care, addressing both policy and technological aspects.
  • Regulation of AI and Advanced Algorithms: There was a detailed discussion on the emerging role of AI in healthcare. Concerns were raised about the regulation of these technologies, emphasizing the need for balanced oversight that encourages innovation while ensuring patient safety.

The meeting concluded with a set of key action items. These included a call for healthcare organizations to actively contribute to the development of telehealth regulations and payment models. Senator Blackburn emphasized the need for experts in Tennessee actually doing this work to help drive the way Washington thinks about these topics.

  1. Rural Healthcare and Workforce Challenges: Particular attention was given to rural healthcare, where innovation and resource allocation remain critical challenges. The importance of developing a robust healthcare workforce was also emphasized, with discussions on strategies to attract and retain talent in the healthcare sector. Lastly, the group discussed the potential for government to provide incentives for providers to implement robust cybersecurity systems and programs is important on many levels.
  2. HIPAA Modernization and Healthcare Data: Senator Blackburn raised need for modernizing HIPAA regulations to better align with current technology and data usage. An opportunity for TN HIMSS to convene and develop recommendations from its member constituents is a logical and welcomed next step.
  3. Feedback and Recommendations from Healthcare Leaders: Senator Blackburn encouraged healthcare leaders to provide feedback and recommendations, highlighting the importance of their insights in shaping future healthcare policies. She mentioned the need for more US Senators to come to Nashville to meet with key healthcare and technology leaders to understand the ‘real-world’ and how certain policy designs must be carefully thought through with input provided by key healthcare organizations and innovators alike.

The roundtable underscored the importance of a collaborative approach, bringing together healthcare executives, policymakers, and innovators to navigate the complex and evolving healthcare landscape. The insights gained from this meeting are expected to drive meaningful changes and innovations in the healthcare sector in the months and years to come.