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A Preview of HLTH 2023: Elevate Humanity

Building on the success of HLTH last year, HLTH’s Head of Content Jody Tropeano shared why the theme for the 2023 event, Elevate Humanity, will highlight the encouraging and exciting developments in the healthcare industry across the event agenda, providing reasons for optimism. 

HLTH 2022

Building on the success of the festival-like atmosphere that characterized the HLTH event last year, the organizers behind HLTH 2023 will emphasize a larger mission in healthcare. The conference attracts more than 10,000+ stakeholders across providers, payers, employers and healthcare benefit providers, consumer wellness tech, the patient community, startups and investors. Looking ahead to this year’s event, which will take place October 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, HLTH’s Head of Content Jody Tropeano shared why organizers selected Elevate Humanity as the theme for the 2023 event to highlight the positive, encouraging and exciting developments in the healthcare industry across the event agenda, providing reasons to be optimistic. 

To be part of the dynamic conversations at HLTH, follow this link to register.

How did you decide on “elevate humanity” as the theme of HLTH 2023?

We chose “Elevate Humanity” as the theme to inspire our community to think bigger than just themselves, their company, their bottom line — but towards a bigger mission. There is a lot that needs to change in our health system and no single organization or solution is going to solve it. If we all focus on the bigger goal — to fundamentally improve health outcomes and the health experience for all patients — then collectively we have a chance at moving the needle in this generation.

Jody Tropeano

What will be new at the HLTH conference this year?

With our new “Elevate Humanity” theme comes new stage themes and new session topics to also elevate the program. Our stage themes will be: Sun Stage, Moon Stage, Earth Stage, Sky Stage and Ocean Stage. Each stage will tell its own story. For example, the Earth Stage will host our WELL by HLTH sessions that focus on prevention through the intersection of health and wellness, featuring many organizations that are empowering consumers to take control of their own health journey. There are many similarities between how we care for our Earth and how we care for our bodies. We are seeing the harsh results of climate change and pollution on our Earth just as we are seeing the results of the growing prevalence of chronic disease in our bodies. These sessions will explore what it means (and what it costs) to “live well.”

Our other stages will follow suit with a connection to their elemental theme. We will release more information on the stages and their themes in the coming weeks. Overall, we are attempting to be a bit more provocative with our session topics and allow our speakers to think more creatively and collaboratively.

In the headline of your recent blog entry, you note “the time for fluff is over.” You also reference a quote: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Where does that quote come from? What do these observations mean in the context of the HLTH conference?

This is a quote by Wayne Dyer, an author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth, that has helped me personally over the years to shift my mindset. It came to mind as we were thinking through the concepts for this year’s agenda. There are a lot of negatives to harp on when thinking about the current state of our health system. That can really weigh you down—if you focus on just the problems, they almost seem too big to even try to begin to fix. We are attempting to shift peoples’ thinking towards the possibility for change.

With the emergence of ChatGPT, there has been and continues to be a ton of criticism about why this technology will never work in healthcare, why it’s so dangerous, and why we should slow down progress. All of these are valid concerns that need to be addressed, but we also want to spend equal time focusing on what is possible with this technology, what doors it will open, and what persistent problems it can solve. That is one example, but overall we are trying to shift our thinking from “that will never work in healthcare” to “how can we make this work in healthcare” when discussing novel technologies and concepts at HLTH 2023.

Price transparency was a big talking point at ViVE. Do you expect that to continue at HLTH, since it’s a more consumer/patient-focused conference?

Price transparency and cost containment should be a part of nearly all conversations at HLTH. We will weave it into many sessions across the agenda. In a similar vein, health equity should be weaved into all discussions on our stages. Every leader on our stages should be asked about how they are addressing inequities in our health system just as they should be asked about how they are reducing costs and increasing price transparency for patients.

You identified seven targets for HLTH 2023. What are some examples of how they’ll be reflected in the conference content?

The seven targets include:

  • Reduce the cost of care for patients and realigning incentives within our health system to allow for this shift of cost. 
  • Intervene early and often to catch disease at nascent stages, avoid downstream complications and costs, and create healthier individuals from a younger age.
  • Improve how patients and caregivers access and experience the health system. 
  • Ensure quality care for all patients, full stop. 
  • Create more affordable and accessible treatments for curable disease and expand research into the incurable. 
  • Foster and fund the innovations that will move the industry and world forward. 
  • Empower those working within our health system: from clinicians and nurses to benefits professionals to scientists to engineers. 

I hope that these seven targets will be a part of nearly all conversations on our stages.  

Again, we are hoping for people to think about the whole continuum of care, not just their particular niche. For example, we are planning a session on heart disease, as it continues to be the biggest cause of death for our population. In this panel, we hope to address how we are preventing heart disease through early interventions, how we’re diagnosing it, how we’re treating it and how we’re paying for this care. In each of those threads, we need to be discussing cost, access, inequities, digital tools, patient experiences, etc. It touches it all. Not all sessions will be as obvious, but my point is that we can’t have these conversations in a silo. If we fix one problem by, for example, pushing the cost to someone else or creating a bigger digital divide for specific patient populations, it isn’t actually fixing anything. Of course there are certain topics that are a bit more specific, but for the majority of our agenda, we are trying to hit a lot of big themes in each session.

How do you define success for HLTH 2023?

If our attendees walk away from each session with actionable takeaways to bring back to their respective organizations that help implement change, then I think we succeeded in our jobs. In addition to programming, our goal is for each attendee to show a real ROI [return on investment] for their time spent at HLTH. Whether it’s through a curated agenda, facilitated one-to-one matchmaking programs, affinity-based networking, and a myriad of networking opportunities, we hope to create a unique and productive experience for each attendee.

To be part of the dynamic conversations at HLTH, follow this link to register.

Photo: HLTH Events