HIMSS chief touts Medical Banking Project

The new HIMSS Medical Banking Project was unveiled on Sunday at HIMSS10, as HIMSS CEO Stephen Lieber kicked off the Medical Banking Boot Camp with a keynote address.

"Traditionally HIMSS has been built on clinical systems," Lieber said. "But we're also built on a big-tent perspective. Healthcare also includes financial and business transactions, and the HIMSS Medical Banking project brings together stakeholders that need to be part of the conversation."

HIMSS acquired the Medical Banking Project in October 2009. The MBProject was founded by John Casillas in 2001 to "facilitate banking and financial service innovations in healthcare by helping government, commerce and academia to isolate and document new areas of convergence between banking and healthcare."

Casillas now serves as senior vice president of business and financial information systems at HIMSS, and runs the MBProject for the Chicago-based healthcare IT professional society.

Lieber said the HIMSS MBProject would abet discussion between the banking sector, financial services consultants, payers, clearinghouses, information systems vendors and providers.

June St. John, senior vice president and healthcare product manager at Wells Fargo, said the MBProject planned to integrate closely with the financial systems and payer advisory councils at HIMSS. She also indicated that the Medical Banking Boot Camp would eventually evolve into a full-day pre-conference symposium at future HIMSS annual conferences.

St. John is the president elect of the MBProject advisory council.

The theme of the Medical Banking Institute is "Designing the Healthcare Financial Network of the Future." Sheila Schweitzer, CEO of Ingenix/CareMedic Systems, said that the HIMSS MBProject was "operationalizing" the theme by creating four "G7" panels (providers, payors, banks and employers) to develop key functions of the healthcare financial network of the future.

"Now that HIMSS has a broad financial services view, we're rolling out the G7 strategy as a neutral platform to bring together providers, payers and vendors," Schweitzer said. "This is going to help provide direction to the industry."