A few weeks ago, I headed to Las Vegas to attend my 21st Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC).
My mission: gather the latest and greatest trends in wound care and report back.
My conclusion: 21 SAWC conferences in and the show continues to leave me with so many things to think about. A month after the conference I’m still recounting the volume of information shared.
While the draw is largely from U.S. and North America, there’s a growing global following with attendees from Asia, South America and Europe. I even met an attendee from Ethiopia, showing how far people will travel to find solutions to one of the world’s largest health problems.
SAWC Fall is viewed as a “smaller” show where the focus is more on relationship building, but this year there was a different vibe, and not only because 3M had recently finalized some big industry news.
The consensus among attendees was that change is upon us, and it’s time for all health care stakeholders to adapt. Below are a few key takeaways from the show:
Dollars are shifting, and they are shifting fast.
As quality measures prove their value in high acuity segments of the market, payers are now broadening metrics and pushing them into community settings. The Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), launching Jan. 1, 2020, is an example of how care will be driven in the future.
Reimbursement topics played out in general sessions, the poster hall, education workshops and even on the exhibition floor. Attendees were hungry to understand the trends, how to adapt their operational focus and exceed expectations.
The reality is some are ready, some are not, and it was fascinating to see this discussion play out.
Providers are finding new ways to demonstrate value.
As these new reimbursement measures take hold, attendees were seeking to learn and share ways to demonstrate value. The reality is that we all (providers, facilities and manufacturers) will need to be at the ready to produce data that shows how we are making a difference.
There were amazing posters demonstrating how providers are driving health economic value through practice innovation, deployment of new technologies and creative data reporting.
Focus on New Conditions and Patient Connection
These conferences provide a forum to share our stories and best practices, and even after spending my career focused on skin and wound management, there are always a few things that stick out.
This year it was learning about the skin condition Hidradenitis suppurativa and how challenging it is for our younger aged populations. Additionally, learning more about the importance of informed patient consent, and how critical it is to educate health care consumers in order to get their buy-in and compliance to treatment protocols.
Reflecting on the show, I’m reminded that we – those of us working to help those with chronic wounds – are not alone. The answers to advancing care are there and connecting with people is the key to unlocking the value we can deliver, together.