Business Model Think Tank: The 2012 SAAS Annual Conference and NIATx Summit

Submitted by: 06/11/2012 by Kim Johnson

We live in an exciting time for substance abuse and mental health treatment services. The changes underway offer great opportunities, but organizations need to rethink all aspects of how they do business to thrive in a rapidly changing environment.  That’s why next month’s SAAS Annual Conference and NIATx Summit (June 19-22, New Orleans Marriott) is dedicated to rethinking the business model of addiction and mental health services.

This year’s plenary speakers include some of the nation’s leading experts in organizational change, leadership, and healthcare reform. A federal leadership panel, featuring Pam Hyde and David Mineta, will share the latest on healthcare reform. NIATx Director Dave Gustafson and Ed Kopetsky, CIO of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, offer their insights on the importance of our customers and their families. Herman Boone, who coached and integrated the winning T.C. Williams football team as portrayed in Disney’s Remember the Titans, shares his story, an inspiring lesson on leadership and team building. 

The first and most important NIATx principle, “Understand and involve the customer,” always drives the SAAS/NIATx conference program. Last year’s conference attendees told us they wanted workshops that give them great ideas and the how-to steps to put those ideas into place in their own organizations. That’s why each of the more than 40 workshops is a “how-to” that offers attendees an action plan for implementing a great idea as soon as they return to their offices.

For providers whose funding has mainly come from state and federal grants, we’re offering workshops such as “How to Create a Billing System and Improve Your Collections,” and “How to Add Revenue Streams,” among others. Providers who have added contracts with third-party payers to their payment mix might want to sink into one or more of the conference’s “deep dive” sessions focused on marketing, workforce development, or finances.

Our conference always gets high marks for the great networking opportunities we build into the program. In addition to organized networking during the conference, we’re offering something extra this year (what they call a lagniappe in New Orleans). Attendees can look forward to a cruise on the Natchez Riverboat, with buffet dinner, live entertainment, and the chance to meet up with other attendees.  And the cruise is included in the full conference registration fee.

We’re looking forward to another exciting event where behavioral healthcare leaders can connect, share ideas, and help prepare the field for the future. For more information or to register, please visit:

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