As healthcare costs continue a precipitous climb, Americans burdened with unmanageable co-pays and deductibles deserve smart solutions. On March 21, Concordia University Wisconsin has invited Gov. Scott Walker, as well as some of the area’s top business and healthcare thought leaders, to speak on the issue.
“The Business of Healthcare: A Healthcare Economics Summit” will explore how the right mix of innovation in the business of healthcare – most critically, transparent pricing and free-market principles – can contain costs and improve the quality of services.
“Lack of price transparency robs consumers of the chance to make smart decisions about their healthcare,” says Dr. Daniel Sem, dean of Concordia’s Batterman School of Business. “It is a market dysfunction that must be fixed.”
Companies like Serigraph, Briggs and Stratton and Quad Graphics, for example, have contained costs by going to a self-insurance model, and by making pricing transparent through bundling, says Sem. In his proposed biannual budget, Gov. Walker has also detailed his desire for a self-insured model for state employees. The plan would amount to an estimated $60 million total in savings over the next two fiscal years, according to the Governor’s Office.
Concordia places high emphasis on educating its students on the free-enterprise model. The university announced last fall its plans to build a new academic building to house its Batterman School of Business, School of Health Professions and other programs; it will be a place where free enterprise principles will be put into practice.
The March 21 event will give attendees a taste of some of Concordia’s goals for the new building and continued education on the concept. Along with Gov. Walker, the event will feature:
- John Torinus, Jr., chairman and former CEO of Wisconsin-based Serigraph Inc. and author of “The Company That Solved Health Care” and, more recently, “The Grassroots Health Care Revolution”
- Eric Haberichter, co-founder and CEO of Access HealthNet, a Milwaukee start-up devoted to cutting health care cost for employers and employees by bundling medical care services; Haberichter also formerly worked for Smart Choice MRI, a company he co-founded
- Jeremy Normington-Slay, CUW alumnus and president of Mercy Medical Center
- Valley Elliehausen, CUW alumna and COO of the West Bend School District