Lessons on new pay models required for doc-exec MBAs
The healthcare industry now requires executives to be savvy about alternative payment models. So Florida International University is adding a new component to the capstone project its physician students are required to complete to receive a master’s degree in business administration.
FIU’s Chapman Graduate School of Business has formed a partnership with West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami to allow its physician-executive students to examine an actual hospital business problem involving payment under new reimbursement models, said Miriam Weismann, clinical professor of business law at the university.
The project will begin with eight weeks of data-mining and research. Students then meet weekly and analyze the problem for eight weeks, using modules for law, finance and accounting, Weismann said. At the conclusion, students will present a solution to the hospital for evaluation, she said.
Other MBA programs have been offering courses in managing alternative payments. The University of California at Los Angeles’ master’s degree program in public health for healthcare executives has included a threecourse series in healthcare financial management for the past 10 years, said Leah Vriesman, director of executive education programs. Spanning financial accounting, management and applied finance, the latter two classes cover bundled payments, revenuecycle management and risk-based payments, she said.
“I don’t prefer to even call it alternative because it is moving to mainstream,” she said.
The ability to manage such payments will become critical for healthcare executives, staffing experts say. Physician leaders are key figures in helping provider organizations make the transition from volume- to valuebased models, said Travis Singleton, senior vice president of marketing for Dallas-based Merritt Hawkins. “If you can’t manage that process, you can’t be a healthcare executive,” he said.
Physician executives who have skills and knowledge in alternative payment models will separate themselves from the competition in the job market, Singleton said. Those with experience overseeing accountable care organizations and care in ambulatory and transitional settings will be particularly attractive candidates.
“A physician-executive who can manage outside the four walls of the hospital can practically write their own ticket,” Singleton said.