Thursday, February 10, 2011

At Ernie's class @ MIT

I was a guest lecturer last night at Professor Ernst Berndt's course at MIT's Sloan School, entitled "Economics of the Health Care Industries." The students represent a variety of backgrounds, and we had great discussions about a full range of issues in hospital management.

I added a new weapon to my arsenal in the Socratic method -- a promise that anyone who made a particularly insightful comment would be featured here on this blog. You see them in the accompanying pictures.

I also had an opportunity to suggest the first of four essay topics for the class. These will be turned in on Monday, and I promised to print the best ones here. Stay tuned for those next week.

I gave them a very tough topic, but it is quite timely and represents an actual problem facing provider groups here in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Here it is:

First, read this blog post. Then, the question is: What methodology would you propose for the allocation of an annual global payment, to divide it up among primary care doctors, community hospitals, tertiary hospitals, specialist doctors, nursing homes, etc. -- all of whom are involved in caring for a given population of patients? How would you make the transition from the current fee-for-service approach?


Anonymous said...

WOW. Wouldn't want to have you for a professor! I bet the legislature and the President would like to see those solutions!
Sometimes, however, fresh and unjaded eyes can come up with surprising ideas. I look forward to follow up!


jonmcrawford said...

"Very tough topic"? "Wouldn't want to have you for a professor"? If students in a course entitled "Economics of the Health Care Industries" aren't already talking about these types of things in their coursework, then why is it any surprise that the current system isn't working?

Bravo to you for making sure they are addressing this, but I would hope that the discussion is already happening, or nothing is going to change.