Shaping the Future of Healthcare: Key Insights from Top Conferences

July 1, 2024 – As we head in to the second half of the year, several significant healthcare conferences have taken place, each offering valuable insights and advancements that could impact patients, caregivers, providers, and donors. The Accessia Health team was on the ground at a number of these events including Asembia 2024, American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2024 Conference, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2024 Annual Meeting, Patient Assistance and Access Programs (PAP) 2024 Conference, and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) 2024 Conference. To give us a snapshot of what was shared at each conference, we turned to Jenn Noonan, VP of clinical strategy & patient engagement, to share some key insights and takeaways from the events that are shaping the future of healthcare.

Common Themes and Future Implications

Across the board at all of the events, the most prominent theme has been centered around ongoing challenges and opportunities in making healthcare more accessible and equitable. Notably, the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act has been one of the most-discussed topics so far, along with discussions on the significance of social determinants of health, and efforts to improve clinical trial participation and outcomes among diverse populations. Policymakers, pharma partners, providers, and patients are all intently watching these issues. We anticipate that federally insured individuals will see some relief in out-of-pocket expenses over the next two years due to policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act, although many will still face affordability challenges, requiring additional assistance. 

With that, we have an ongoing responsibility to seek out those who may not have the resources or adequate knowledge of support services available for medication assistance. This is particularly true as more and more data on social determinants of health and care inequities becomes available. These individuals cannot be left behind. 

Navigating Medication Access – A Focus at the PAP Conference 

At the PAP conference specifically, a significant focus was on equity in access to care and the implications of Medicaid expansion on affordability. Some of the core discussions centered on medication access, addressing crucial topics such as the Inflation Reduction Act, Alternative Funding Programs, Co-Pay Accumulators, and Co-Pay Maximizers. 

With all of the conversations, it was clearly evident that social determinants of health, the complexity of navigating the healthcare system, equitable access to medications, and affordability are core issues that are gaining recognition as the healthcare system better understands how those issues impact individuals, their care journeys, and outcomes. As these barriers are becoming increasingly recognized, there are greater opportunities for organizations to further support those lacking resources or knowledge about available medication access services. It is our responsibility to seek out these individuals and provide them with information on the support services available to them. 

In fact, this was a common theme in the “Ask Me Anything” panel featuring Accessia Health’s Tiara Green, along with Kevin Hagan from PAN Foundation and Rebecca Stewart with Rare Revolution Magazine. In this panel, the discussion revolved around the pivotal role of organizations supporting individuals and their families along with insights into the latest trends, challenges, and innovations as it relates to patient care.

Pharmacy-Centered Discussions Dominate AMCP

The AMCP conference, which was attended by over 4,000 professionals, was heavily focused on drug utilization, cutting-edge developments in managed care programs, and the trending costs of care. Overall, a large emphasis was placed on the importance of continuous learning and adaptation in the pharmacy sector to manage costs effectively and improve patient care. This will be an ongoing topic that we too will follow as we look for ways to better fill gaps in care.

AI, Access, and Data-Driven Solutions Discussed At Asembia 

Addressing disparities in healthcare outcomes and designing inclusive, patient-focused practices were core areas of interest at Asembia this year. In fact, a shocking revelation shared at Asembia was that approximately 80% of U.S. counties have inadequate healthcare structures. There was much discussion about how pharmacists can play a larger role in this structure moving forward by bridging healthcare gaps. 

We think that patient assistance programs can play a significant role in the ongoing need for support that goes beyond co-pay assistance. Accessia Health provided additional context on this topic in an interview with the Pharmacy Podcast Network at Asembia. In the interview, Tiara Green, Accessia Health president, highlighted the increasing need for a holistic approach to helping individuals in the healthcare system. You can hear more insights from Tiara and listen in to the interview here

ATS Conference Highlights Advances in Respiratory Science

At the ATS conference this year, the latest advancements in respiratory science and global respiratory health, specifically for asthma, lung cancer, pulmonary diseases, and cardiology were discussed. Overall, it was clear that there is an accelerated focus on research and development in cell and gene treatments for respiratory conditions. This is great news for many individuals who are seeking new and effective treatment options. Outside of new advancements, there was also a significant focus on addressing disparities in access to care, ensuring that all communities benefit from these advancements in respiratory health.

ASCO Conference Uncovers Breakthroughs in Oncology

Finally, the ASCO conference focused on groundbreaking research, clinical science, and advocacy in oncology. Key discussions centered around the essential role of biomarker testing as it is becoming indispensable in oncology, offering personalized and effective treatment plans like never before. The conference also provided numerous opportunities for Accessia Health to connect with new advocacy organizations, broadening the scope of resources available to individuals.

We look forward to connecting with other organizations and partners, as well as gathering more insights to move patient access forward in the next round of conferences later this fall. To view our upcoming attendance, click here.