|(To Infinity and) Going Beyond! The 2016 Annual HFMA Conference|
|Maria B. J. Chun, Ph.D., Immediate Past President, HFMA|
It was that time of the year again, when all the stress of tax season is forgotten for two days at the Hawaii Chapter’s Annual Conference, which is held each April. Past-President Lehua Pate (2013-14) warmly greeted attendees on both days (April 21-22) of the conference. She and our fabulous conference committee and volunteers (Brian Panik, David Chow, Dennis Do, Aileen Esmeralda, Terri Fujii, Nelson Harada, Keriann Kau, Wendy Manuel, Jessie McMorrow, Val Sonoda, Elise Ueoka, Karen Young, Keane Young) helped to ensure that everyone had a great experience.
Reflecting HFMA 2015-16 National Chair Melinda Hancock’s charge for those in healthcare finance to “Go Beyond,” this year’s conference was focused on how HFMA's three main target groups -- hospitals, physicians, and payers -- must continue to work more closely together to meet the challenges of providing high quality, cost-effective healthcare. Our keynote speaker, President and CEO of HFMA Joe Fifer, kicked off the conference by reinforcing Ms. Hancock’s call for healthcare finance leaders to “go beyond” old assumptions about traditional roles and responsibilities and to, most importantly, collaborate. Even though he flew in from Ft. Lauderdale where this year’s Leadership Training Conference was held, he showed no signs of exhaustion as he gave an inspirational presentation on how HFMA has and continues to be a key player not only in healthcare reform, but the healthcare industry in general. Mr. Fifer was also very accessible to the conference attendees who were eager to meet and speak with him.
Talks by Regional Executive Chuck Acquisto on managed care contracting and breakout sessions by Northern California Chapter President Matt Morgan on population health management and Medicare coding updates from Jean Matsushita of Noridian followed. The first of three panels was led by Dr. Kenric Murayama (Chair of the UH Manoa Department of Surgery) who moderated a session on physician engagement. In collaboration with the Hawaii-Pacific Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Captain Angel Vargas helped to secure the expertise of Dr. Gerard Livaudais who heads Hawaii Health Partners, Ms. Martha Smith, who is CEO of Kapiolani Medical Center, and Ms. Kathy Raethel, who is President and CEO of Castle Medical Center. Captain Vargas also aided in obtaining educational credits for ACHE members, which encouraged them to attend. (A huge mahalo to Angel for all his efforts!) The afternoon educational sessions concluded with Ms. Marie Kumabe, who provided career and professional development tips for those new and seasoned in healthcare finance.
As with all our conferences, we held a reception on the first day. Thanks to the creativity of Aileen and Jessie, Social/Networking Co-Chairs, attendees were whisked back to the 70s, 80s, and 90s as they were treated to a DJ and a dance floor as well as a very talented vocalist and hula/Tahitian dancer. In honor of music legend Prince’s passing that morning, Little Red Corvette was the first song played. Before the audience “got down” on the dance floor, Mr. Fifer, who was accompanied by his wife Katie, presented chapter volunteer awards. Joseph Adriano, Treasurer, received the Follmer Bronze Award, and Maria Molina, former President-Elect, Aileen, and Jessie all received the Reeves Silver Award. The chapter was especially excited to honor Aileen and Jessie who put so much effort not only into that evening’s networking event, but everything they have ever organized for us. We were also thrilled to re-present Elise Ueoka with her 2014-15 Member of the Year Award, since she had not formally been given her award until now. Elise’s tireless efforts at sponsorship are nothing short of amazing and have helped to subsidize many of our chapter’s events. Elise, along with Lehua, helped refresh our memories on how to do the Electric Slide! The evening closed with another Prince song – Let’s Go Crazy.
On the final day of the conference, the audience was treated to two lip synch challenge videos by Oregon Chapter President Jeff Johnson who shared his chapter’s Shut Up and Dance with Me homage and American Authors’ Best Day of My Life “performed” by HFMA National Board members. The Hawaii Chapter has been called out (Good luck, Val!) to submit a video.
The educational part of the conference continued with two panels and a number of breakout sessions. Dr. Danny Takanishi, Jr. moderated a panel on physician integration, which included hospitals (Dr. Anna Loengard from QMC and Dr. Livaudais) and payers (Dr. George McPheeters from UHA and Dr. Mark Mugiishi from HMSA). Ms. Beth Giesting (Office of the Governor) led a panel on population health in Hawaii, which featured Dr. Ginny Pressler (State Department of Health), Dr. Rachael Wong (State Department of Human Services), and Dr. Judy Mohr-Peterson (Med-QUEST Division).
On both days of the conference, attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch, which also included many giveaways from our chapter and conference sponsors. After informative breakout sessions from Ms. Linda Corley (clinical documentation for compliant reimbursement), Dr. Mical DeBrow (using clinical data for reimbursement), Mr. Greg West (revenue cycle priorities), and Dr. Tim Brady (healthcare fraud), Ms. Pam Chambers closed the conference with her inspirational and energetic talk on the importance of teamwork.
As the Conference Chair, I would like to thank all our attendees for joining us and hope everyone found it a worthwhile event. I would also like to thank our generous chapter and conference sponsors who have been so supportive of us. And, another expression of gratitude to our conference committee and volunteers, which at the last minute included my husband Todd Kuniyoshi and my friend Wally Izumigawa. Until next year, as Prince said – “Take me away!”