As plans for Meaningful Use, other big initiatives solidify, what's next on the HIT agenda?

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The 2013 Health Information Management and Systems Society conference is still more than a month away, so it's a little early to preview the show. But I've been thinking about what trends and issues are likely to dominate the conversation, nevertheless.  

It's usually easy to predict what topics will be hot at the health IT industry's largest gathering in North America. Last year, for example, unsettled government regulations and fluctuating deadlines along with a mile-long HIT "to-do" list shaped the over-arching theme and mood of the show.

Going into the conference, attendees could make educated guesses about what Meaningful Use Stage 2 would entail, for example--but CMS didn't release the proposed regulations until mid-conference.The final Meaningful Use Stage 2 rule was released in August and ONC revised MU first in October, then again in December.

Heading into the 2012 conference ICD-10, too, was in flux. Rumors that the deadline would be delayed came true just before the meeting, when the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced it would extend the deadline for ICD-10 compliance to October 2014.

And data privacy changes were still a blip on the horizon--those, too, have since been solidified, as the HHS announced the final omnibus rule for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act earlier this month.

Editor's note: FierceHealthIT is sponsoring an executive breakfast at HIMSS13: Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Care and Efficiencies on Wednesday, March 6. Registration is required--to learn how leaders at premier healthcare organizations, including Muir Medical Group, Intermountain Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center are using data to identify and reduce duplications in service, lower costs, decrease readmissions and avoid adverse events, be sure to sign up to join us.

So now that some of the uncertainty about these three big issues has dissipated, I'd expect conversations and sessions about them to be much more focused and down-to-business.

Meanwhile, as much as I love talking and writing about Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and HIPAA (sadly, I'm not being even slightly sarcastic, here) I am looking forward to see what's next and what's new. What other topics health IT leaders are wondering and worrying about in 2013; what innovation will turn up on the massive exhibit hall floor.

So, are you planning to go to the show? What do you want to know and learn? What questions will you be asking government representatives, session speakers and colleagues? What are the hot topics this year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, start a conversation with our LinkedIn group, post to our Facebook page or tweet to @FierceHealthIT.

A little closer to the show we'll be doing an "official" HIMSS13 preview issue; this is your chance to weigh in and help focus our reporting before, during and after the show.

An aside: One thing I can tell you with 100 percent certainty is that if you haven't booked a room in New Orleans yet, you're going to end up meeting and talking to lots of folks on the long shuttle ride to the conference center. I booked well in advance this year and last--I am not exaggerating when I say the two previous years I stayed at hotels that I will never forget for all the wrong reasons. I still refer to one as "the murder room," a nickname inspired by the large rust-brown stain on the carpet and the horror-movie lighting scheme.

And flights? I'm coming from the Boston area … based on the limited choices, ridiculous itineraries, hours-long layovers and outrageous fares, you can't get there from here. - Gienna (@Gienna)