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    MGMA Staff Members

    From all of us at MGMA, thank you!

    Black and white shot of attendees at the 2023 Leaders Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

    We were given the honor to host, but you truly powered everything that happened during the 2023 Leaders Conference in Nashville last week. Here's what we saw across Music City Center and beyond:

    Let's talk tech

    • The event's opening keynote speaker Scott Cullen, MD, stopped by the two-day CEO Summit before taking the main stage to answer questions about how artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving in healthcare. “Lots of folks who are nonclinical seem to think that the most important thing we can do with AI is fine-tune and improve on clinical decision-making, but the real opportunity … at the front end is to use generative AI to improve our processes to the point where we can increase access,” Cullen said. 
    • How rapid is AI reshaping the industry? About 83% of medical group leaders say use of AI will become (or already is) an essential skill for healthcare administrators, per an MGMA Stat poll conducted during the conference.

    Honoring innovators, ACMPE and award winners

    • More than 130 healthcare leaders were recognized during this year's conference as the ACMPE Fellows Class of 2023. Becoming a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE), as the highest designation in our industry, demonstrates leadership, innovation and professional engagement in the healthcare industry. 
    • Duke Anesthesiology's Padma Gulur, MD, was recognized as the 2023 recipient of the Harwick Innovation Award for her work on the Anesthesia Resource Management System (ARMS), an innovation approach to optimize resources through a utilization-based model. Hear more from Dr. Gulur on her recent MGMA podcast appearance.
    • Ilene Gilbert-Droge, FACHE, FACMPE, EFPM, was recognized at the 2023 recipient of the MGMA Lifetime Achievement Award. MGMA’s most prestigious award recognizes and celebrates the success of an individual who has inspired and empowered other leaders through significant contributions to the healthcare industry and MGMA, with particular emphasis on the advancement of medical group administration, delivery and/or education.
    • Longtime MGMA member, ACMPE volunteer and consultant Tracy Bird, FACMPE, CPC, CPMA, CEMC, CPC-I, was recognized as Forum Representative of the Year during the conference. In its inaugural year, this award recognizes a medical practice professional serving as a state MGMA ACMPE Forum Representative who has provided outstanding leadership in the education and motivation of MGMA members through the process of the ACMPE offerings. Hear from her on her recent MGMA podcast appearance.
    • Steve Freeland, MBA, CEO of Cancer Care Group in Indiana, was the recipient of the Legislative Liaison of the Year award for his tireless and diligent work as the Legislative Liaison for Indiana. This award honors a medical practice professional serving as a state MGMA legislative liaison volunteer who has provided outstanding leadership in the education and motivation of MGMA members through grassroots and advocacy involvement on legislative and regulatory issues of importance to medical group practices. Hear a conversation with him in a live MGMA podcast from Nashville.
    • MGMA's Future Five Award, recognizing five professionals within the first seven years of their healthcare careers who have demonstrably impacted their organization and/or the industry, was bestowed this year upon Alizee Gagliardi; Holley Johnson, MHA, CMPE, CPC, COBGC; Morgan Soster, MHA; Neil Mecwan, MHA; and Sarah Jeon.

    Diversity, equity and inclusion in focus

    • Natasha VanWright, RN, MBA, MS, MA, CCM, brought renewed awareness to social determinants of health (SDoH) in her session, "Health Equity and Whole-Person Care," while a panel of speakers from Humana and findhelp shared insights on a research report exploring the post-pandemic realities of collecting and using data on health-related social needs.
    • Jessica Ellis-Wilson, FACMPE, principal consultant at Practical Management and Leadership Consulting, joined with Garrett Olson of Watermelon Alligator Theatre Company for an interactive, two-part workshop to harness the art of improvisation to help create a welcoming culture in medical practices.
    • Member Community Live in the Solution Center was home to the new Resource Groups, which offered dedicated time for Black, Latino, Asian LGBTQIA, women and early careerist attendees for meet-ups to recognize the unique experiences, perspectives and challenges faced by these professionals.

    Two big topics this year: staffing and leadership

    • Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, FACMPE, from Moore Solutions, Inc., was one of this conference's stand out "rock stars"! His Monday, Oct. 23, session, "Better Decisions: Applications for Medical Practice Managers," was great for leaders. He facilitated a lively interactive conversation about how to visualize data differently to strategically drive medical practices in new directions. Attendees were challenged to look beyond charges, payments and adjustments and incorporate more business intelligence into their strategic planning. 
    • In their session, "Retain Your Team Through Onboarding and Training Academies," a panel of speakers from RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group shared invaluable insights about their "hands on" training program via regional training academies, which offer a standardized approach for training current employees across departments and locations and providing them with an opportunity for career advancement.
    • A Jackson Physician Search panel unpacked the results of a recent MGMA and JPS survey in their session "Building Better Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Early-Career Physicians," which shows what makes early-career physicians tick: what they prioritize in their first job search, what motivates them to stay or leave at the first position, and more. Download the full report
    • In this challenging time of unprecedented physician turnover, Alan Heathcock, MD, MPH, Northern Colorado Hospitals invigorated attendees in his session "Physician Retention: Leadership Secrets of a Successful Team" by showcasing how he achieved a 2.5% annual physician turnover rate through the past six years, the state of physician retention, the top factors that influence physician retention, and 10 key strategies to enhance physician retention and prevent turnover.

    Both kinds of music: Country and Western

    • The opening reception for award winners and members attaining ACMPE Board Certification and Fellowship on Saturday night was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame, just a few boot steps across the street from the main conference event at Music City Center.
    • Renowned storyteller, songwriter and speaker Jimmy Yeary shared his talents from the art of songwriting to the mainstage audience, emphasizing how to build meaningful relationships with authenticity and relatability.
    • If the buzzing neon of the honky-tonks on South Broadway hadn't already drawn in attendees earlier in their Nashville stay, the Leaders Conference took over the Wildhorse Saloon on Tuesday night for MGMA's Signature Event: The Nashville Experience, replete with bull riding and all else you'd expect from the home of country music.

    Stay connected

    Mark your calendars for the 2024 Leaders Conference, Oct. 6-9, in Denver, Colorado!

    Engage with MGMA and your peers throughout the year with:

    • MGMA Member Community forums — Find out what your peers are doing and share your insights
    • Ask MGMA — Ask practice management experts your burning questions
    • MGMA Insights and Washington Connection newsletters — Sign up for weekly e-mails for industry news
    • MGMA Podcasts — Subscribe today for engaging and informative conversations with MGMA members and staff multiple times each week
    • MGMA Stat — Share your voice as part of our real-time national polling on the hottest topics across the industry
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