Category: Health Sector

Health Policy Expert Stephen Davidson Publishes New Book, “Still Broken: Understanding the U.S. Health Care System”

August 4th, 2010 in Health Sector, Markets, Public Policy & Law, News, School

Health policy and management expert Stephen Davidson, Boston University School of Management Professor of Business Policy & Law, is author of the new book Still Broken: Understanding the U.S. Health Care System, and a widely-cited blogger and scholar on healthcare reform.

Still<br /> Broken: Understanding the U.S. Healthcare System

Still Broken describes six elements that are critical to a successful reform plan and how various compromises with those elements can affect what a new law will produce. Readers of the book will understand why the new law will make substantial progress toward achieving some reform goals but leaves more to be done. Even though the newly enacted law includes the most substantial reforms since the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, millions of Americans will continue to have access problems. Moreover, as a nation, we will still pay too much and get too little from a system that will continue to get worse — primarily because it will not have strong incentives for providers to make it better.

Hear more in Davidson’s podcast about the book from Stanford University Press.

Read Davidson’s latest commentaries on health care.

Boston University MBA Students Put Leadership Skills to Work in Developing Countries

August 2nd, 2010 in Graduate Students, Health Sector, School, Social Impact, Students

First Stop: Guatemala, in Support of the Primeros Pasos Medical Clinic

The MBAid Team in GuatemalaIn Spring 2010, a group of first-year Boston University School of Management MBA Students launched the organization MBAid.

MBAid’s mission: To improve health care access to underserved communities through a partnership with the Primeros Pasos Medical Clinic in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, while giving School of Management students the opportunity to put their skills to work and learn from other cultures.

“I knew we would provide Primeros Pasos with resources they don’t have access to, while they could give us the chance to make a significant contribution to improving health care access.”

– Rob Segan, Trip Co-organizer (MPH/MBA 2011)

Their first initiative: Bringing supplies, money, and their own muscle to the Primeros Pasos Clinic. From May 9-15, 31 students from Cohort D of the first-year MBA class, along with four significant others, traveled to the clinic, where one of the trip organizers, student Rob Segan (MPH/MBA 2011), had worked from 2005-2006.

Primeros Pasos, formed in 2002, serves 7,500 patients per year. Working with 14 area schools and 12 daycare centers, they bring groups of students to the clinic to test for parasites, receive doctor and dentist consultations, and participate in health education classes.  Staff then follows up by traveling to these local schools a few days later, providing talks on topics such as hygeine and nutrition, and delivering any necessary medication to students.

Of the trip’s inception, co-organizer Ajay Mehta (MBA 2011) explains, “Our goal was to create a trip that was enjoyable, accessible to a large number of students, and would have a real impact. Adds Segan, “We got along really well as a cohort, and we thought it would be fun to do something as a group after the semester was over.“

“Primeros Pasos is an example of the high value, low cost health services being developed in low resource settings. BU students are learning about the realities of this kind of innovation while providing important assistance to the organization.”

– Mark Allan, Faculty Director, Health Sector Management Program; Director of Health Systems Development, Family Medicine, School of Medicine

“The Primeros Pasos Clinic is an amazing organization,“ Segan says. “They are incredibly cost effective: there is no overhead and all paid staff are Guatemalans receiving a local salary. They operate on a budget of $50,000, which is amazing when you consider how much they do with that money. I knew we would could provide them with resources they do not have access to, while they could give us the chance to make a significant contribution to improving health care access.”

The takeaways so far: Through fundraisers hosted by Neel Madhvani (MBA 2011), Mike Guigli (MBA 2011), and Sheehan Perera (MBA 2011), the MBAid team brought US$2,000 in donations to the clinic—enough to cover doctor and dental consultations, health education classes, and medications for 400 children—as well as 500 toothbrushes, a  microscope donated by group member Meredith Childs, and 50 health education books obtained  by Nadja Godschalk (MBA 2011) through a donation from the organization 4imprint.

While in Guatemala, the MBAid team provided a well-needed paint job to the outside of the clinic and built white boards and bookshelves for donation to schools involved with Primeros Pasos. They also weighed and measured children visiting the clinic, and co-organizer Borja Gomez-Rojo (MBA 2011) assisted clinic staff by teaching a health education class at a local elementary school.

“This was chance for our cohort to strengthen our bonds while helping Primeros Pasos. In addition to volunteering, we climbed an active volcano, ziplined through the rainforest, took salsa lessons, kayaked in Panajachel.”

– Kim Vo, Trip Co-organizer (MS·MBA, Health Sector Management, 2011)

The extracurricular activities: Comments co-organizer Rob Segan, “Guatemala is an incredible place, from its culture to the amount you are able to see and do in a few days. It was great to take travel there alongside people with whom you have so much in common, but often have only had the chance to know in the context of a classroom. We saw this not only as a chance to help out the clinic, but also to have an adventure together as a cohort.”

Adds co-organizer Kim Vo (MS·MBA, Health Sector Management, 2011), “This was a unique opportunity for our cohort to get to know each other outside the classroom and strengthen our bonds while helping Primeros Pasos.  In addition to volunteering, we climbed an active volcano, ziplined through the rainforest, took salsa lessons, soaked in hot springs, and kayaked in lake Panajachel, all while taking in Guatemalan culture. This is an experience I’ll never forget.”

The video: Watch the BU Global Service group in action in Guatemala here:

(Video by JB Buensuceso)

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Innovations in Insurance Payments: Quality vs. Complexity

July 6th, 2010 in Health Sector, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

In this video, Andrew Dreyfus, Executive Vice President, Health Care Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts, participates in the panel discussion at the event Innovation and Health Sector Transformation.

Here, Dreyfus discusses innovations in the healthcare insurance industry, including Blue Cross Blue Shield’s new payment method, focused on quality of outcome instead of volume and complexity.

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Genzyme’s Perpsective: Valuing Innovation that Benefits Innovators & the Health System

July 6th, 2010 in Health Sector, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

In this video, Dane Bedward, Senior Vice President, Genzyme International, participates in the panel discussion Innovation and Health Sector Transformation.

Here, Bedward discusses the importance of innovations that benefit both the innovators and the health system at large.  He also stresses the importance of evaluating comparative effectiveness from the clinical perspective.

Related Videos:

Regina Herzlinger on Problems in Global Competitiveness Caused by Our Multiple-Payer Healthcare System

July 6th, 2010 in Global Work, Health Sector, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

In this video, Regina E. Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair at Harvard Business School, participates in the panel discussion Innovation and Health Sector Transformation.

Here, she explains the problems in global competitiveness, spread across the world economies’ major companies, caused by the “albatross” of our employer, multiple-payer healthcare systems.

Related Videos:

Innovation and Health Sector Transformation: Panel Discussion

July 6th, 2010 in Health Sector, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

Urgency grows to provide greater value at lower cost throughout the health sector.  Current trends, such as quality and price transparency, provide newly fertile ground for innovation regarding products, processes and business models.

In response, a recent event at Boston University School of Management, Innovation and Health Sector Transformation; drew together thought-leaders from across industry and academia to explore the transformative role that innovation will play in the sector over the next 10 years. 

The panel was comprised of: N. Stephen Ober, Director, BU MD/MBA Dual Degree Program (as moderator); Regina E. Herzlinger, Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair, Harvard Business School; Andrew Dreyfus, Executive VP, Health Care Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Mass.; and Dane Bedward, Senior VP, Genzyme International.

This video brings you highlights from the event’s panel discussion.

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Health Sector Management Program’s Rapid Growth

March 15th, 2010 in Graduate Students, Health Sector, School, SMG Hot Topics, Students

Starting salaries, GMAT scores, and enrollment up sharply

The last three years have seen rapid and exciting growth in the enrollment numbers and strength of students entering the Health Sector Management Program (HSM) at Boston University.  A sampling of facts and details:

Enrollment Booms; Backgrounds Broaden; GMAT Scores Rise Rapidly

From 2005 to October 2009, the HSM Program’s enrollment grew 250% to a total of 160 students.

Moreover, in just the last two years, the average GMAT score for entering full-time HSM students has shot up 49 points.  It now stands at an impressive 693 (compared with an average of 680 for incoming full-time MBA students across Boston University School of Management).

The background and interest of today’s HSM enrollees is spread across the health sector, with an equal proportion of those from from health services delivery and related areas; and Bio-pharma, devices, and diagnostics industries.

Starting Salaries for 2009 Also Up Sharply

Starting salaries for 2009 graduates are up on average almost $18,000 since 2007, standing now at $96,115.

In 2007, the average starting salary for HSM alumni was $78,214; in 2008, it was $86,875.

HSM Student Profiles

Learn about just a few of tomorrow’s thought leaders in field:

Get the BU Health Sector Advantage

March 15th, 2010 in Health Sector, Podcast, SMG Hot Topics

Mark Allan, Director, Health Sector Management

Mark Allan, Director, Health Sector Management

Get the BU Health Sector Advantage

ITEC Announces Finalists for 10th Annual $50K Business Plan Competition

March 15th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Energy & Environment Sector, Entrepreneurship, Health Sector, School, Sectors, Social Impact, Students


Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and CommercializationBoston University School of Management’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC)  is thrilled to announce the team finalists for the 10th Annual $50K Business Plan Competition :

  • Better Means is a web-based platform platform that fosters entrepreneurial autonomy and organizational belong. BU Team members: Karim BIshay & Adele Burnes
  • CorMend offers a treatment for chronic heart failure. BU Team member Keith Jansen
  • LED 2.0 delivers energy-effiicient LED lighting for residential, commercial and government applications. BU team member Perry Grossman
  • mobiLIFE provides a bluetooth-enabled continuous glucose monitor with precise readings. BU Team members Brian Chan and Dan Collins.

The four teams will compete for prizes worth over $50,000 at the final competition held at the Boston University School of Management on April 7, 2010 and is open to the public.

Each team will present its plan to a panel of judges consisting of VC’s and other members of the business community. The panel of judges considers the quality of the written business plan along with the ability of the team to successfully communicate the goals of their plan.

Alan Cohen Writes in a Letter to the New York Times about Five-Year Opt-Out Provision

March 15th, 2010 in Health Sector, Markets, Public Policy & Law

Alan CohenThe New York Times has published the following letter by Boston University School of Management’s Alan Cohen, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Executive Director, Boston University Health Policy Institute:

To the Editor:

Paul Starr’s noble attempt to bridge the health reform divide seems to miss the mark (“A Health Insurance Mandate With a Choice,” Op-Ed, March 4).

His five-year opt-out provision might appeal to some conservatives, but the objections of most Republicans to mandatory health insurance seem motivated more by politics than by libertarian ideology. They would probably vote down a health reform bill even if it included an opt-out provision.

It’s distressing that Americans find a health insurance mandate so alien. After all, we are required by law to buy car insurance to protect against losses due to accidents and damage caused by others. In the same way, a health insurance mandate would pool risk and cover health care costs incurred by others that are now reflected in ever-higher insurance premiums.

How the mandate is structured (that is, penalties imposed for noncompliance) is the real question we must address. Allowing people to opt out, even temporarily, and hoping that they learn from the error of their ways seems like wishful thinking.

Alan B. Cohen

Boston, March 4, 2010

The writer is a professor of health policy and management at Boston University and executive director of its Health Policy Institute.

See letter online at Letters: A Final Showdown on Health Care? , the New York Times, March 4, 2010