What is HCIC? A First-Time Attendee’s Perspective

November 18th, 2015 No comments

Now that the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference has concluded, we’ve been looking back over the conference to assess how well it went. All of us at Greystone have quite a few HCICs under our belts, so we thought it would be nice to hear what our newest staff member, Megan Wellborn, had to say about her first experience at HCIC. Megan joined Greystone as a Consultant in July of this year, and has been working diligently with the rest of the team to plan and organize this year’s conference.

We asked Megan to give us her impressions of her first experience at HCIC. This is what she had to say.

“As a first timer at HCIC last week, I was not sure what to expect. I had heard comments around the office such as, ’it’s not like the other conferences’ and ‘it’s the digital conference.’ And while I found those comments to be true, I had to experience it for myself to really understand HCIC. So off I set for Orlando, where the weather rarely dips below 80 and there are Mickey ears on every landmark.”

“I attended the Let’s Talk Digital sessions on Sunday afternoon and upon entering the presentation room, the very first thing I noticed was the community feel in the room. Everyone seemed to know each other and have plenty – both business and personal – to discuss. It was a very comfortable and comforting environment. As the sessions kicked off the friendly tone did not fade but was soon joined by an influx of knowledge and advice.”

“As the next few days passed, it became apparent that HCIC clearly is different and there is a strong digital focus at the conference. But those characteristics only begin to describe HCIC. I would describe HCIC as a meeting of peers. From the general sessions, to the concurrent sessions, and even including the exhibit hall, the attendees of the conference are here to learn from peers and teach others about their experiences. The general sessions are engaging and entertaining with a clear healthcare application, the concurrent sessions are case studies where hospitals and health systems share their experiences in hopes to inspire and help others, and the exhibit hall is a massive networking arena – with an open bar of course.”

“As a first timer at HCIC I expected to attend sessions and hear about Web projects that brought exceptional success to a particular hospital, but I did not expect to find such an open community of peers eager to help each other succeed.”

If you or someone you know attended HCIC for this first time this year, we’d love to hear your thoughts, too! Contact us at info@greystone.net.

Categories: HCIC, Internet Conference Tags:

It’s A Wrap From Orlando!

November 16th, 2015 No comments

On Wednesday afternoon, the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference concluded. What a great 4 days it was! We hope you all have had safe travels, whether you returned home after the conference or took some time for vacation before heading home.

Now that we’re back home, with our bags (mostly) unpacked, it’s time to reflect on the past few days. The 19th Annual HCIC was a huge success! It was the largest HCIC yet, in terms of attendees and exhibitors . We’ve already had many vendors and sponsors tell us they’ll definitely be back next year, and several sponsors are planning to up their sponsorship level where possible.

We’re started to go through the evaluations to get your feedback on the various sessions. We take your feedback very seriously and use it to plan future conferences. If you have an idea you’d like to share related to future conferences or if something occurs to you related to #hcic15 that you didn’t put on your evaluations, please feel free to drop us a note at info@greystone.net.

We’re also getting started on planning for the 20th Annual HCIC next November in Vegas. We’re shooting for a great 20th anniversary event!

Stay tuned for more thoughts about #hcic15.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Don’t Miss the Great Keynote Sessions at #HCIC15!

October 28th, 2015 No comments

keynotes HCICEach year at the Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, several keynote speakers make presentations that inspire, motivate and encourage the conference attendees. This year will be no exception!

The 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference will kick off on Monday afternoon, November 9th, at 1:00 PM, with the first keynote presentation on tap after the welcome and opening comments.

Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System, will open this year’s HCIC, speaking about The Digital Transformation of Healthcare: What’s Your Vision? Warner will share a CEO’s perspective on the need for digital innovation and transformative thinking to reimagine how deliver healthcare today and in the future. From using the Apple watch to empower patients to manage chronic disease to creating a patient health app “genius bar,” Ochsner is successfully pushing into new digital frontiers. Hospitals and providers that embrace the new era of consumerism are poised to shift market share and win the hearts and minds of today’s consumer. Join us for this powerful presentation to jump start your conference experience!

• On Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM, Jay Baer will start the day with Hug Your Haters. Jay, a marketing consultant, speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Youtility, will discuss how to respond to haters. Social media and mobile technology have made it easier than ever to complain. But having more online haters isn’t all bad news. In this keynote session, Jay reveals brand-new, proprietary research into why Americans complain in social media, how unhappy customers’ expectations differ by platform and the specific steps you must take to cater to the haters. You’ll discover how to turn a social media smear campaign into a powerful business opportunity.

• The luncheon keynote session on Tuesday at 12:30 PM will be presented by Larry Bailin, best-selling author and CEO, Single Throw. Larry’s session, NOMAM (aka No More Average Marketing!), promises to be “not your average” conference talk! Don’t miss this session with a true digital pacesetter and best-selling author, and let Larry help you to draw a line in the sand and say, NOMAM! As Edward Porter Humphry said; “True wisdom is to know what is worth knowing and to do what is worth doing.” Hear what it takes to get beyond average.

• Wednesday morning will start off with Spencer Gerrol presenting Website Health Check: The User Experience. Spencer, the Founder and CEO of Spark Experience, will help us understand if we’re “doing it right” as technology becomes ubiquitous, and eHealth and mHealth are taking the world by storm. The healthcare industry often falls short at the critical moment when we are at people’s fingertips. While Websites and apps have become our gateway to patients, physicians and everyone in between, our designs often sacrifice user experience. Using principles of cognitive psychology, a Website can change perceptions and actions. Don’t miss this energy-packed session on how research into human behavior, motivation and emotion can lead to better designs and better outcomes.

• No HCIC would be complete without the presentation of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. Mark Gothberg, Chairman, eHealthcare Leadership Awards and COO, Health Care Communications, will be joined by co-Masters of Ceremonies Susan Emerson, VP Strategic Planning & Business Development, Private Health News, and Becky Smith, Account Executive, Coffey Communications, as they honor the 2015 Award winners and recognize the best Websites of healthcare organizations, health plans, online health companies, pharmaceutical/medical equipment firms, suppliers and others during the closing luncheon of the conference.

If you are planning to attend this year’s HCIC, you won’t want to miss any of these outstanding sessions!

Categories: HCIC, Internet Conference, Uncategorized Tags:

Less Than a Month Until HCIC. Where Did the Summer Go?

October 15th, 2015 No comments

HCIC_2015_PromoAs Halloween approaches, so does HCIC! I can’t quite wrap my head around how quickly the year has flown by. It’s hard to believe that after all of the months of planning and coordinating, the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference is just around the corner.

But, there’s still time to register and attend, So if you haven’t made your plans, register now.

And don’t forget, you can also register for one of the great pre-conference events. There are four very timely sessions taught by experts in our industry that you won’t want to miss. Learn more about the pre-conference sessions.

Beginning early on Monday, November 9th, hundreds of healthcare marketing, IT, Web and digital professionals will gather at the Omni Orlando at ChampionsGate for three days of educational programming, including five keynote sessions, four pre-conference workshops, with 56 concurrent sessions in between it all. In addition, there will be lots of opportunities to network with colleagues and attendees with a robust and vibrant exhibit hall with over 80 of the top industry vendors.

If you are a client of Greystone.Net or Healthgrades, you’ll want to join us on Sunday afternoon before the main conference begins for Let’s Talk Digital. A “by invitation” event for a deep dive into digital with experts from inside and outside of healthcare. There’s no fee to attend, but you do need to register to receive an Admission Ticket. Learn more about Let’s Talk Digital.

The final HCIC preparations are almost complete. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando before you know it! And if you missed our post earlier about the extracurricular activities available in Orlando while you’re in town, read it now! See you soon.





Categories: HCIC Tags:

The Call Center: Sounding a Death Knell or Seeking a New Identity? Part 3: Adapting to New Uses

October 12th, 2015 No comments

In the previous two installments of this blog series, we looked at where call centers began and how they have evolved up until the present time, as well as at some predictions about the call center of the future. In this last installment, we’ll discuss some new uses for the call center.

Healthcare has undergone tremendous change over the past several years. One of the greatest drivers of change has been the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with all its associated rules and regulations. Two important concepts that have sprung from the ACA are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and population health management.

ACOs are essentially what the name implies: a means by which to better coordinate and deliver patient care with improved outcomes. Population health involves “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of health outcomes within the group.” The call center can be a valuable resource for ACOs and population health management, providing health information, assistance with patient compliance and adherence and other patient care services.

      Three needs that are common to ACOs and population health management are:
  • Management of chronic illnesses
  • Adherence to treatment plans
  • Follow-up care.

The call center can be an integral component to provide the necessary patient outreach and communication for these needs.

Let’s examine three real-world examples of call center utilization for ACO and population health management settings.

Case Study: Rio Grande Valley ACO

Cameron and Hidalgo counties, located in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, have the dubious distinction of being two of the three poorest metropolitan areas in the US. In addition, almost 30% of the population in the area has diabetes. The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) ACO, one of the first Medicare ACOs in the US, serves both counties. Close to 42% of RGV ACO’s Medicare beneficiaries have diabetes.

Diabetes is a major chronic disease that can – and often does – lead to serious complications. Couple a high incidence of the disease with an area of pervasive poverty, and you have very serious health concerns. Improving care for these patients can be quite challenging.

CMS has identified five quality measures for assessing treatment outcomes for ACO patients with diabetes: blood pressure control, lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) control, blood glucose control, aspirin use and tobacco avoidance. Patients must be compliant in all five areas in order for the ACO to be deemed compliant with treatment.

In 2012, the RGV ACO achieved 70-80% compliance in individual quality measures, but only 23% compliance in meeting all the quality measures. In order to improve overall compliance, efforts were ramped up, including the establishment of a diabetes education center. A team of medical assistants and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) were trained to serve as care coordinators by a certified diabetes educator, and a care coordinator was placed in each clinic. Using the HER system, a concerted effort was made to help patients improve their compliance with all five quality measures. A call center was established that made routine calls to survey blood sugar levels, and remind patients to take their cholesterol and blood pressure medications.

By 2013, RGV ACO’s compliance had improved to 75-90% with individual quality measures, and 48% compliance with all five; an overall 100% improvement.

Case Study: Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC)

CCNC is a state-wide organization comprised of 14 local networks in North Carolina that provide healthcare to rural and under-served populations using the medical home model. A call center was established in 2011 to assist CCNC in achieving its goals and initiatives through telephonic patient contact.

The primary goal for CCNC is to decrease unnecessary ER admissions. To that end, when CCNC is informed of a non-emergent ER visit, call center staff follow-up with the patient to reiterate the importance of using the medical home and identify additional local resources and options for the patient. In most cases, only a single phone call is made, but in the case of patients who continue to over-use the ER for non-emergent visits, an RN from the call center will attempt to follow-up with these patients to identify any care gaps or new health issues that can be referred to the networks.

Additional functions of the CCNC call center include provide:

  • Information to new enrollees regarding appropriate use of the ER and urgent care; accessible local resources; medical home provider-specific information; information on provider visit and prescription co-pays; and how to access specialists.
  • Health coaching for the CCNC Medicaid population, using RNs who are certified health coaches.

Case Study: North Shore-LIJ Health System

      Rather than having patients hear the ubiquitous “If this is an emergency, hang-up and call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room” message that can drive them to use inappropriate or out-of-network resources, North Shore-LIJ opted to establish a 24/7 central phone bank that is linked to physician offices, care managers, on-call triage nurses and physicians.

The phone service handles calls from North Shore-LIJ’s 5,000-patient cohort in the Montefiore Medicare Pioneer ACO, 12,000 patients in its individual health plan, 50,000 patients in its self-funded employee benefit plan, and several ACO and pay-for-performance contracts with commercial insurers. It also serves the system’s Medicare bundled payment service which launched this year. Overall, about 7 percent of the system’s revenues came from at-risk contracts in 2014, projected to rise to 10 percent or more in 2015.

    The call center provides these functions:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Routine prescription requests
  • Answering clinical questions
  • Directing patients to network physician offices or urgent care when needed.


As healthcare continues to change and evolve, so can the call center, as illustrated by the above examples. The call center has the potential to be an integral component of healthcare delivery for many years to come.

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of this series, you can see them here:  Part 1 and Part 2.


Categories: Call Center Tags: