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Susan Cantrell on Features, Sessions to Expect at AMCP Nexus 2020


With the virtual format of this year’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2020, there will be several sessions and novel features to look out for, including networking events, educational programming, and a keynote speech.

With the virtual format of this year’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2020, there will be several sessions and novel features to look out for, including networking events, educational programming, and a keynote speech, said Susan Cantrell, CEO of AMCP.


AJMC®: With this year’s AMCP Nexus 2020 being presented in a virtual format, can you speak on some opportunities presented by this new layout? And what features will be helpful to the audience?

Cantrell: We certainly would have loved to have everyone this week in Las Vegas and all be together face to face. So, that couldn’t happen, obviously, during 2020, but what we think we’re offering for our members, our attendees, and our exhibitors is the next best thing. We have a very innovative and engaging platform that we’ll be hosting our meeting from this week, with lots of bells and whistles.

If you’ve been to our meeting, you know one of the most striking things to me is the level of excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm that we see among our attendees, as well as our exhibitors. It’s hard to replicate that in a virtual environment, but I think we’re coming very close. We have a number of networking events that we're offering, including our AMCP Foundation Wellness events that our members and attendees expect every year. We’re doing something that sounds like a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to participate, it’s called a daily dose of fun in the afternoon.

We also have more educational programming than we’ve ever had. We feel in this period of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], where our members have been very focused on their work and have had little time probably for professional development over the last several months, we need to offer them rich content that is up to the moment with lots of options, and that’s exactly what you’ll see at Nexus 2020. We have posters, we have live sessions, networking events, and then also a popular feature of our meeting is always the expo. You’ll see there the virtual expo program that also includes some unopposed hours. So, we have everything in the virtual format and are really looking forward to a great week with lots of excitement.

AJMC®: Are there any sessions during this year’s meeting that you are particularly excited about or interested in learning more on?

Cantrell: There are so many! It’s so hard to differentiate, but I’ll just call out a few that I think are particularly notable. So, today, October 19, we have a premeeting event called Critical Conversations this afternoon, and there are 2 really timely sessions that we’re offering during that. The first one is called Future Trends in Health Technology and Digital Therapeutics, and you may know that digital therapeutics, of course, is a new exciting technology area that enables health care to engage patients in their treatment and also often augment some medication therapy. We as an organization have been very involved as this area has emerged, because it does present some new unique challenges in terms of payment and reimbursement, as well as decision making. However, it presents some unique opportunities to really augment traditional methods of care. So, we’re excited about that, and we’ll also be touching on the key role that technology has played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, we conducted a survey with the Alliance of Community Health Plans looking at consumer behaviors during the pandemic. One thing that we found was that the use of telehealth had nearly tripled, and that 11% of our respondents had used a smartphone app to manage their health care condition and 32% said they hadn’t used one yet, but they plan to try. So, health care and health technology in health care is a really important emerging area for our members and we want to stay in the forefront, and that’s what this session is all about.

Then the second one this afternoon that I’ll mention is called Practical Applications to Close Gender and Diversity Gaps in Health Care Leadership. I think that’s very exciting, and it certainly is aligned with AMCP’s deep commitment to diversity and equality in health care leadership.

So, we are very honored to be joined in that session by 5 women of very diverse backgrounds, who have advanced to executive levels in managed care pharmacy, health care recruiting, the pharmaceutical industry, and other areas. They’ll each discuss their experiences and also share best practices that support gender equity in the workplace.

Then finally, I must mention our keynote speaker for tomorrow, and that is health care futurist and COVID-19 research leader Marty Makary, MD, MPH, who’s also author of a recent book called The Price We Pay that talks about the US health care system and some of the challenges we face. Dr Makary is with Johns Hopkins University and he will present some findings hot off the press of a recent study he worked with FAIR Health on related to COVID-19 and its impact on Americans. So, I would say this is a can’t miss session. Marty’s always great, and I know our attendees will really enjoy him.

Then I’ll just mention on the topic of interesting sessions, there’s so many that we also have a number of satellite symposia and that’s a popular feature at our meeting this year. We have more than ever in the virtual environment, and so our partners and exhibitors have really stepped up to the plate to offer additional educational programming beyond the core meeting. So, look for that as well. Lots of great topics!

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