A week ago I attended the 2012 Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) in Boston, Massachusetts. The opportunity for education was immense and my goal was to learn as much as possible and to meet many people. I was, after all, at my first conference among many industry experts and I wanted to make the most of the time.

My three main take-aways from the conference:
1. Plan a schedule which allows for flexibility
2. Listen closely and use discerning judgment
3. Enjoy yourself


I arrived at the conference with a schedule of the sessions I planned to attend and realized that I needed to be well-rested and highly caffeinated to meet the schedule. After helping to set up the netlogx booth, I began the session rounds. I attended sessions about Claims & Code Sets, Procurements, HIX, HIE, Data Analytics, RFPs, MITA, Medicaid Gate Reviews, Lean/Six Sigma and so many more. Between sessions, there was a great opportunity to meet people and begin to build mutually beneficial relationships with other conference attendees. It was great to be introduced to others in the industry by my experienced netlogx colleagues whose mentoring was invaluable to me.


One speaker mentioned that there are “no states doing significant testing for ICD-10 right now.” It was one sentence from one speaker, amidst four other speakers on a panel discussion about Claims and Code Sets but it stood out to me. I thought, “The current transition date for ICD-10 is October 1, 2013
(now 10/1/2014), so why are there no states doing significant testing right now? And hey, isn’t my state doing significant testing? We’ve been reviewing and developing ICD-10 readiness since 2011!” Needless to say, it caused me to ask questions of my colleagues and other attendees of the conference. I learned that a speaker’s opinion does not always reflect the view of what is happening in the entire industry.


At the end of each day, there were dinners, networking events, poster sessions, and many occasions to make contacts. This was a great time to get to know the people whose ideas had impacted me throughout the day. Those in-depth conversations that you can’t squeeze into a 30 minute break were conducted during the evening “free-time”.


Next year I’ll plan ahead a bit more, thoroughly review the session choices so that I am making the best use of my time, and build on the relationships which were developed at the 2012 MESC. I can’t wait for MESC South Carolina 2013!


QUOTE: Well done is better than well said – Benjamin Franklin