Dr. Atul Gawande pulls out of HIMSS19 conference

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Atul Gawande, MD, CEO of the joint Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JPMorgan Chase health venture, has pulled out of giving the keynote speech at the Health Information and Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Fla., next month, Managed Care reports.

Neither HIMSS nor Dr. Gawande's spokesperson offered an explanation behind Dr. Gawande's decision to pull out of the conference, according to the report citing an exclusive by STAT News.

A HIMSS spokeperson told Becker's Hospital Review Jan. 18 Dr. Gawande was invited to the HIMSS19 conference and accepted. However, he later declined due to schedule changes and constraints. The spokesperson said the organization looks forward to welcoming him to future events.

Dr. Gawande, who also works as a surgeon at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital and is writer for The New Yorker, has made several hiring moves since taking the helm of the organization in June 2018, but has yet to announce any of the venture's progress in lowering health costs for the three companies' employees.

Among those hired to the venture's C-suite team during the last several months was Dana Safran, the former chief performance measurement and improvement officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the organization's first female executive, and Jack Stoddard, who previously led healthcare innovation at Comcast.

HIMSS' annual conference typically sees about 45,000 attendees, including government officials, physicians and technology executives from across the globe.

To access the full report, click here.

Editor's noteThis article was updated at 12:20 p.m. Jan. 18 to include additional comment from HIMSS.

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