Lessons on new pay mod­els re­quired for doc-exec MBAs

Modern Healthcare - - BY THE NUMBERS - By Michael San­dler

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.

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