Conference Season Part 1: NAACOS Fall 2020 Recap

Time flies, right? It was just this past summer that we were attending NAACOS Live Spring 2020, and only a few months later we were into NAACOS Fall 2020. A lot of that is because the Spring edition occurred later than originally planned, so it created a bit of a short “offseason” so to speak. This fall is the beginning of what we know to be conference season in which there’s a slew of conferences to attend; this year they’re all virtual though. Some of the same speakers were featured during the fall edition. NAACOS CEO Clif Gaus always gives us a great state of where value-based care stands, and Dr. Don Berwick gave a more political speech than in past events when discussing “Transforming the Healthcare System.”

If you asked me what my favorite presentations were this year, I’d be lying if I didn’t toot my own horn. My colleague Maria Nikol and I were fortunate to be able to present “Managing Performance Across Payers: Getting Different Populations on the Same Page” during Week 1, Day 2. We really appreciate Lacey Wattles from Rocky Mountain Accountable Health Network and Dan Bailey from ProHealth Solutions ACO for providing us their use cases. If you click the link attached to the title and have access to NAACOS, you’ll be able to watch the recording. The presentation is a proud moment for us at Salient because we were able to showcase how complicated it is to bring in data from Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, commercial insurance, etc., and get it all into one solution. Both ACO’s use cases showed how the Salient solution was able to help them get a more apples-to-apples comparison of their populations, and fortunately, many of the Salient ACOs achieved shared savings this year partly because of this.

Maria also joined Travis Broome, Aledade’s Senior Vice President for Policy & Economics, and Kent Locklear, LightBeam Health’s Chief Medical Officer, to discuss “ONC Rules on Data Sharing.” The focus was how the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s final rule establishes a secure, standards-based application programming interface (API) requirement to support patient access and control of their electronic health information. For those who have been closely following all of the interoperability talk, APIs are the foundation of everything interoperability-related. Due to this new rule, patients will be able to securely and easily obtain, and use, their electronic health information from their provider’s medical record for free using smartphone apps much like you currently can monitor your own secure bank account.

Healthcare data, the usual where are we headed, what happens after COVID-19, and policy updates were all consistent topics through much of NAACOS Fall 2020. More than anything, I would say the fall iteration of this conference picked up right where spring left off. ACOs are trying to adjust following the pandemic, rule changes and adjustments require more flexibility on behalf of ACOs and their teams, and everyone wants more data. There can never be enough data. The downside to virtual conferences, of course, is that you lose some of the opportunity to network. Big thanks to Prime West ACO’s Sakina Pasha for setting up a few virtual happy hours. They were casual, but certainly effective in bringing back the “conference feel” that we all enjoy.

Hopefully, by next spring we’ll be back to in-person events. NAACOS Spring 2021 is scheduled for April 26th through 28th in Baltimore, MD, and Fall 2020 is scheduled for October 6th through 8th in Washington, DC. If you’re interested in seeing what one of the best national conferences in value-based care is all about, you can visit their website at

Ryan Mackman

About the Author

Ryan Mackman, MBA, MHA - Business Consultant

Ryan Mackman has been an ACO business consultant team member with Salient since March 2018. In this role, he acts as a solution trainer, marketing and sales consultant, as well as Value Based Payment strategist. His skillset helps augment Salient’s efforts at the ACO and physician practice level.

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