What to Expect at #HLTH19


6,000 leaders convene soon in Vegas to announce new partnerships, research, products, and more.

Jacqueline DiChiara

What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas, at least during next week's second annual HLTH (pronounced "health") conference. Here, over 6,000 senior leaders from a wide range of industry sectors will convene from October 27 to 30 at the MGM Grand to identify healthcare's biggest problems and create tomorrow's opportunities for change. This event asks attendees, from payers to providers to employers to policymakers and beyond, to ponder one big question:

How do we create the future of health?

Last year's event sparked some big announcements, including a Microsoft partnership with Adobe and Change Healthcare to advance consumer engagement, and Geisinger's announcement to offer patients free DNA sequencing. Here's what to expect this year, as tons of new company announcements are made about the latest ideas, research, and products to hit the healthcare market.

Over 300 Speakers Discussing Healthcare's Future

Companies like CVS Health, Amazon Web Services, Lyft, and more will be sharing their perspectives over three days next week. Over 100 sessions held throughout HLTH will focus on themes like new entrants, health science, artificial intelligence, social determinants of health, precision medicine, and drug-less therapy. Voices from different corners of healthcare, from patients to policymakers, will be heard, including:

  • The Voice.HLTH track: Here, there will be presentations and discussions from Humana, Oracle Health Sciences, and Boston Children's Hospital, a debate about how voice technology and machine learning impact patient care, and a voice hackathon. “From consumers interacting through voice interfaces to learning about their health and engaging with the health system, to physicians using voice bots to assist in administrative tasks and care delivery, we are seeing the health industry reimagined by the adoption of voice technology," said John Brownstein PhD, Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • Mastercard: The credit card company giant will be presenting a new healthcare solution alongside Brighterion, which was acquired by Mastercard in 2017, to use artificial intelligence and behavioral patterning to better protect patient data and prevent fraud for payers and providers. Mastercard's Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President of Healthcare Solutions, Raja Rajamannar, will deliver a keynote Sunday night, October 27.
  • MedCity: Their annual patient engagement event called ENGAGE will explore how the patient experience is impacted by technology, providers, and payers (all through the eyes of the patient). Topics of discussion will include how chatbots improve the patient experience, how listening to patients will fix healthcare, and how chief patient experience officers are prioritizing the patient experience.
  • Healthcare policy experts: Just a few voices we'll hear from include Food and Drug Administration Principal Deputy Commissioner, Amy Abernethy, who will share her views on technology, innovation, and more. Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary, Eric Hargan, will talk about value-based care initiatives. Presidential candidate, Senator Michael Bennet, will discuss universal healthcare. Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator, will talk about how the government is addressing people's unhappiness with today's healthcare system.
  • Companies not known for being "healthcare" companies: Aside from the aforementioned Mastercard, companies like Bose will also announce their plans to work in the healthcare market. Executives from Google (who just hired its first Chief Health Officer, Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSC) Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung, and Apple will also be sharing their insights.

And, Oliver Wyman's Helen Leis, Health & Life Sciences Partner, will be discussing our recent 2020 predictions for Amazon, Haven, Google, and Apple. "When it comes to the Amazons, the Googles, the Havens, and the Apples of the world, the value proposition is going to swing dramatically. If I’m willing to give companies like these my data, I hope I’ll have a more personalized, customized, curated, fair plan for myself or my family in return," said Helen. "When you consider big healthcare companies – their roots, their capabilities, and what they’re known for – they’re ultimately successful because they make things that were once hard, very easy."

Also at HLTH will be Oliver Wyman's sister company, Mercer. HLTH and Mercer have collaborated to help expose emerging technologies that will transform healthcare costs for employers and employees. They'll be discussing blockchain, precision medicine, and how to transform the future of health.

“Our nation is facing continually rising healthcare costs, with employers bearing a significant portion of the total cost,” said Sharon Cunninghis, Mercer's US Health Leader. “Reversing this long-term trend will require far greater co-creation and collaboration across the health ecosystem than we’ve seen in the past. At the HLTH 2019 conference, employers will unite with thousands of innovators and stakeholders in reimagining and reshaping health benefit plans, digital programs and solutions that simplify the experience for employees and their families, change behaviors and improve outcomes, while lowering costs.” 

“Mercer’s collaboration with HLTH provides the bridge for ambitious employers seeking to demonstrably alter the unsustainable trajectory of increasingly poor health and rising health costs through innovation,” added Jonathan Weiner, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of HLTH. 

Oliver Wyman Announcing New Gender Parity Research at HLTH

Women are an important consumer segment in healthcare, making most (80 percent) of healthcare's buying and usage decisions. Women, compared to men, are 76 percent more likely to have visited a doctor within the past year and pick up 75 percent of prescriptions. They also make up most (65 percent) of healthcare’s workforce.

Yet, women working in healthcare are notably underrepresented in industry leadership. Women primarily hold lower status roles with much less decision-making authority compared to men. Men hold most (87 percent) of C-suite roles at healthcare’s top ranks (like the chief executive officers, the chief financial officers, and the chief information officers). Women make up barely 30 percent of C-suite teams and a mere 13 percent of chief executive officers (and when women do reach the position of chief executive officer, it takes an average of three to five years longer to get there. It’s an ironic imbalance – we don’t have a “women in healthcare” problem, but a “women in healthcare leadership” problem.

It's this problem we've partnered with HLTH on a new survey about to help solve. Our survey examines gender parity among healthcare's leadership ranks and the invisible barriers female healthcare leaders face as they get closer to the top. Our findings, part of our ongoing Women in Healthcare Leadership initiative, explore how diversity drives better organizational results and sparks more creativity and productivity.

Our research also aims to demystify perceptions of “good” leadership and create awareness of where both genders differ and converge on career aspirations and expectations. Our research also focuses on the concept of building "affinity", an invisible facet of trust that holds many women, compared to men, back from entering into healthcare's leadership ranks.

Helen Leis, a Partner in Oliver Wyman's Health & Life Sciences practice, will share the results of our new Women in Healthcare Leadership 2019 Survey on Sunday night's main stage. And Parie Garg, a Partner in Oliver Wyman's Health and Life Sciences practice, will be speaking more about our research on Wednesday, October 30 from 12:50-1:10PM PST, specifically about our findings on building affinity.

Stay tuned next week for more HLTH coverage on Oliver Wyman Health, and follow us on Twitter @OWHealthEditor for live insights from the event.

  • Jacqueline DiChiara