University of Miami School of Business to train public health pros
Written by John Charles Robbins on November 29, 2016
The Center for Health Sector Management and Policy at the University of Miami School of Business Administration has grown its faculty in the past year and continues to study issues relating to health care policy and patient safety.
“We have expanded our faculty staff and the result has been directing research into a number new areas,” said Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D., professor and center director.
“We’ve done a lot of work on health care policies at the state and national level. We’re looking at issues associated with price transparency and the impact on healthcare facility decision-making associated with that,” he said.
The center, established in 2010, serves as a resource to businesses and policy-making bodies, conducts and disseminates research, offers consulting to the health care and business community and trains and educates those in the health sector.
The center became a department at the university in 2015, allowing the school to hire and integrate academic health care programs, with research being the focus of the center.
The center’s think tank has examined issues with Medicaid managed care, and aspects of patient safety looking into new technology in hospital bed systems and nurse call systems.
Dr. Ullmann said the think tank is now examining health care processes to assure greater efficiency and greater quality and thereby lead to greater patient care.
The center’s education and training programs include open enrollment and customized executive education programs targeting the health sector.
Dr. Ullmann said the university is seeing growing interest in health care among graduate and undergraduate students.
To meet that interest, the school plans to launch a new masters in health administration program beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, he said.
In addition, the School of Business Administration is teaming up with the University’s Miller School of Medicine and the de Beaumont Foundation to establish a unique certificate program aimed at training public health professionals in business fundamentals and skills.
An article in the “Journal of Public Health Management and Practice” showed that just under half the 10,246 members of the public health workforce reported proficiency in budget skills.
“Because of the dramatic transformations in our overall health system, and in public health agencies, the need for public health professionals to have strong business acumen has never been greater,” Dr. Ullmann said.
The Building Expertise in Administration and Management (BEAM) Certificate Program for Public Health Professionals will require 20 contact hours, to be delivered through an interactive, asynchronous platform. The curriculum is to be developed over the next year by the School of Business, School of Medicine and the de Beaumont Foundation in collaboration with a national advisory committee of federal, state and local health officials as well as public health advocacy organizations.
Practitioners in public health will pilot the courses in July 2017, and enrollment for the program will begin in October 2017.
The public health physician-researchers and principal investigators for the program are Dr. Ullmann, as well as Roderick King, assistant dean of public health education, and Alberto Caban-Martinez, assistant professor of public health sciences and director of the musculoskeletal disorders and Occupational Health Lab at the School of Medicine.
Dr. Ullmann said he believes the center’s work is balanced between the needs of patients and the health care industry.
“We really are balanced… we do consultations trying to create better access and efficiency for the patients. We’re about ready to take on a large consultation project for a large organization, focusing on the patient experience. We also consult global health care companies, medical device companies, to provide insight on health care marketing , which in turn is associated with patient populations and access,” he said.
This is consistent with the universally held concept of the “triple aim,” which focuses on patient experience, population health and cost-efficiency, he said.
Through the center’s experts bureau, which includes faculty from the School of Business, authorities in health sector management and policy are available to speak and provide expertise to local, state and national legislative bodies, government agencies, the news media, trade associations, conference planners and other organizations.
The center also hosts the school’s Business of Health Care impact conference, which draws more than 700 professionals from across industries each year.
Looking ahead, Dr. Ullmann said plans are falling into place for the 2017 conference March 3.
The impact of the 2016 US presidential election is a main topic, and what can be expected from President-elect Donald Trump. The future of Obamacare under a Trump presidency is bound to dominant the conference.
Dr. Ullmann said the center has lined up several former US secretaries of health and human services to participate.
A panel that will focus on the effects of the election on all aspects of health care will be manned by heads of the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Health Insurance Plans, Health Care Financial Management Association, and the Medical Group Management Association.
Another panel will deal with healthcare’s impact on business in general, offering insight from high-level people at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EY and The Carlyle Group.
The 2017 conference will be hosted by University of Miami President Julio Frenk, MD, a health care policy expert.
“The conference sells out every year,” said Dr. Ullmann.
“It serves as a major networking opportunity for the health and business community affected by health care issues,” he said.
President Frenk will speak at conference as well.