The MGMA13 crowds arriving Sunday were greeted with chamber of commerce weather: clear skies and a high of 86 degrees. I’m not sure how many folks come early for the pre-conference sessions but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few attendees played hooky and basked in the sun yesterday afternoon. Today’s high is a more seasonal 75 degrees – still pretty darn nice.
I arrived early afternoon and I grabbed a bite to eat at an outdoor cafe before heading over to the convention center. I arrived too late for the opening speaker (former Blue Angels pilot John Foley), but by all counts he provided a motivating message on leadership.
The doors to the exhibit hall opened at 4:30 and the crowds immediately poured in. Instead of a traditional opening reception, MGMA hosted the two-hour reception inside the exhibit hall. Given that the exhibit hall is only opened a total for seven hours through Wednesday I guess it was an efficient way to allow people to socialize and see exhibits.
The food looked fine with a mix of Mexican, Italian, and assorted finger foods. Not surprisingly, the lines at the bars were longer than the food lines.
Thanks to all the HIStalk sponsors displaying their desktop signs. If you see one, please tell the vendor thanks for supporting HIStalk! Vendors with HISalk signs included Aprima, Emdeon, Iatric, Culbert Healthcare, Quest, Versus, Ingenious, and AdvancedMD.
Overheard in the exhibit hall: “I am spending $3,000 to be here so I need to show my doctors that I found something that was worth my while for being here.” Wish I could have listened in more to learn what her game plan was.
MGMA rolled out a new brand which it says “signifies the Association’s strategic direction and capitalizes on MGMA’s current work to serve members.” I am sure there will be more said in the opening session but it appears the MGMA-ACMPE name has
been dropped in favor of “MGMA.”
Availity gets an early vote in the cool booth category. Very open and comfy couches to sit on while listening to presentations.
NextGen had a smaller booth this year. Last year they had a smaller booth than the previous year so I guess they are on a “less is more” kick. GE, which didn’t exhibit last year, is in a back corner, while Vitera, athena, Greenway, Pulse, and Allscripts all have big booths that drew decent crowds during the reception.
Several vendors appeared to be no-shows.
I won a $5 Starbucks gift card from the Emdeon folks when I played their stacking game. It wasn’t too hard so it’s worth a couple of minutes of your time if you enjoy a free cup of coffee.
My Monday agenda includes a keynote session with George Will (I am sure he will have a comment or two on the government shutdown), two or three educational sessions, and another stroll through the exhibit hall. I have lined up the evening party schedule to ensure the maximum number of events before my feet give out.
If you are at MGMA, drop me an email with your impressions.