In hopes of satisfying the popular craving for managed-care information from a national perspective, the National Managed Health Care Congress will scrap regional conferences in favor of a second national annual meeting beginning next year.
Attendance at the NMHCC's national event jumped 40% to more than 10,000 attendees this past spring, and many exhibitors had to be turned away due to limited floor space. Meanwhile, attendance at the organization's three regional meetings has been stagnant.
"People want to be associated with a big event, and a national event draws better speakers and more people are attracted to it," said Kirstie Miller, the NMHCC's executive vice president.
The NMHCC announced the new conference strategy at its last Midwest Managed Health Care Congress last week in Chicago. The last regional meeting to be held will be the West Managed Health Care Congress Jan. 28-31, 1997, in Palm Springs, Calif.
"We know what's going on in our own back yard," Miller said. "Now we are ready to implement the concepts and rub elbows with colleagues from across the country."
Executives expect the second annual meeting to draw between 4,000 and 5,000 attendees, the same combined attendance of the regional meetings, which have been held for the past six years. However, they expect more exhibitors and better speakers at a second national meeting, said Sue Deveaux, vice president of national accounts.
The Ninth Annual National Managed Health Care Congress will be April 14-17, 1997, at the Washington Convention Center. The inaugural second meeting of the year, "NMHCC-Fall '97," will be held Nov. 3-6, 1997, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The NMHCC will continue to host its various specialized meetings on issues such as disease management, home care, and "managed" Medicaid and Medicare.