I’m in the middle of my first time attending the ANI 2012 conference in Las Vegas. For those not familiar with ANI, it’s HFMA’s (Healthcare Financial Management Association) National Institute. It’s kind of like HIMSS for the financial side of healthcare. I must admit that I was mostly driven to attend ANI because a number of advertisers and other connections I had started emailing me asking me if I was going to be at ANI since it was conveniently located in Las Vegas. I have to admit that I’m really glad I’ve been able to attend.
Some of my initial reactions are that ANI has a very different audience than most of the other healthcare IT conferences I’ve attended. Sure, many that attend ANI are at the other conferences, but when I first got to the ANI reception I tweeted that I bet the average age of ANI attendees was about 20 years higher than the other healthcare IT conferences I attend. When you think about healthcare financial management (the people who hold the purse strings) it makes some sense that the audience would be a bit older.
I sent the following tweet late last night which also captures my initial impressions of ANI 2012 quite well:
Great time at #ANI2012I love HIMSS for the breadth, but I’ve been loving ANI for the depth I’ve gotten from those I’ve met.
— EMR, EHR and HIT(@ehrandhit) June 26, 2012
I can tell that many of the same people at ANI were also at HIMSS. Although, the pace feels more relaxed at ANI and I’ve been able to connect with some of the very same HIMSS people on a much deeper level. I think both things have their place, but I’ve enjoyed some of the deep conversations and understanding that’s come from ANI.
Another great story from my ANI experience was from this tweet that I sent:
— EMR, EHR and HIT(@ehrandhit) June 24, 2012
While waiting in line for a Joe Montana signature, I struck up a conversation with a CFO who was in line next to me. Upon learning that I was a blogger, he asked if I was the one that tweeted about all the tweets coming from vendors and not attendees. How funny that indeed I was the one and what a great lesson. Many of the CFO attendees aren’t tweeting, but it was a great illustration that many are still reading and following the tweets. The power of social media to bring people together.
One final observation before I head back to the ANI exhibit floor. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a palpable sense of money flowing at ANI. Maybe it’s because it’s a healthcare financial management event, but I think if we dug into the underpinnings of the event we’d see a lot of financial transactions happening. One illustration of this was in a meeting with Craneware where they talked about one of their hospital clients who found $6.2 million in previously unfound revenue.