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WEDI Announces Agenda for WEDI-Con 2017 to Focus on the Future of Health IT

October 31, 2017

December 4-6 event headlined by key thought leaders from CMS, HHS, Mayo Clinic, Aetna, among others to address regulations, implementation best practices and critical issues impacting health IT

RESTON, Va. — October 24, 2017 — The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the nation’s leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange and a trusted advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced the agenda for WEDI-Con 2017, where hundreds of thought leaders in healthcare information technology will gather this December 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Va. During the three-day event, payers, providers, government regulators and vendors will network and collaborate over sessions focusing on data exchange, HITRUST assessments, block chain, the new Medicare cards, electronic clinical quality (eCQM) and the future of health IT.

“From ransomware attacks to new regulations to the continued burdens of interoperability, 2017 has been a year full of adversity for our industry. This is why we look forward to bringing some of the biggest industry names together at WEDI-Con to lead discussions covering these pressing issues keeping healthcare leaders awake at night,” said Charles W. Stellar, president and CEO of WEDI. “These topics are shaping the future of health IT in the U.S. which is why this event could not be more timely.”

One such topic sure to be on the minds of industry leadership is the New Medicare Card Program (formerly the SSNRI). Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be mailing out the new Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to all people with Medicare. In preparation for this major undertaking, Dr. Monica Kay of CMS will present on the initiative, its timeline and what the health IT industry must be prepared for in the coming months. Following Dr. Kay’s remarks, attendees will participate in three unique industry panel discussions. The first session, moderated by WEDI Chair Laurie Darst of the Mayo Clinic, will focus on providers, while session number two, moderated by WEDI Chair Elect Jay Eisenstock of Aetna, will focus on payer organizations and vendors. The final session will be an open forum where attendees can ask general questions of CMS as well as be given the opportunity to offer additional insight on the program’s effect on the industry.

In addition to the timely CMS session, other general and breakout sessions attendees won’t experience anywhere else will include:

Lessons learned from WannaCry
The WannaCry Ransomeware Attack wreaked worldwide havoc last May. At WEDI’s spring conference, HHS representatives joined the audience via telephone to discuss in real-time how the attack occurred and HHS’ response to it. In December, WEDI welcomes U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) director of Division of Resilience, Steve Curren to discuss the attack in more detail and update the audience on current HHS cybersecurity initiatives

Interoperability at Work! Data Exchange in Times of Emergency
Emergencies can occur at the local, regional, national and international levels. During these stressful times, health data needs to smoothly and efficiently move at a moment’s notice to ensure quality of care at the point of care. At WEDI-Con, ONC’s Lee Stevens and Noah Smith from the Government of the District of Columbia will discuss case studies, initiatives and lessons learned on emergency preparedness and health information exchange.

Ways and Means Subcommittee Listening Session
Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Brady and Health Subcommittee Chairman Tiberi recently announced the “Red Tape Relief” initiative to reduce administrative burdens facing the healthcare industry. To assist in advancing this project, the group will need to work closely with a wide range of healthcare stakeholders and health IT professionals. During this session, House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Staffer Nicholas Uehlecke will provide important and unique insight to identify burdensome mandates that stand in the way of better patient care.

Inside the Mind of a Hacker
Rapid7’s Patrick Laverty finds the weak points in computer networks. Every day, he pokes, prods, and does what needs to be done to find the ways that a hacker can get in. During his day-two break-out session titled “Common Vulnerabilities Found by a Hacker,” this good guy hacker will show attendees some of the common areas and things to look for in your systems to keep the attackers out.

The 21st Century Cures Act
What’s happening? What’s next? Charged to create a framework that would allow for greater interoperability, ONC’s Steve Posnack will offer attendees updates on this impactful bill expected to enhance health IT interoperability.

A complete conference agenda is available and updated regularly on the WEDI website. The conference is open to all interested healthcare stakeholders across provider, payer, vendor and government entities. Both WEDI members and non-members can register online for the conference with group and early registration discounts available.

About WEDI
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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