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Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Health care forum offered insights, promoted discussion about changing industry

With the anticipated changes in the health care industry due to the Affordable Care Act, health care organizations are under pressure to make affordable care possible and sustainable over a longer term -- without impacting quality of care or the provider's ability to co-create value to the patient using alternative delivery care models.

It’s that challenge that drove Oakland University’s business school Dean Mohan Tanniru to spearhead the recent Health Care Transformation Forum, which looked at issues through the lens of the patient-physician relationship, within a physician practice, small clinic or large hospital.

“By hosting this forum, we hoped to advance learning about the complexities of health care and explore opportunities to see how business research and practice can help support effective health care transformation,” Tanniru says.

Nearly 100 attendees gathered in Auburn Hills to participate in a variety of sessions focused on Revenues and Cost Management, Physician Practice Management, Health Information Exchanges and Collaborations, Health Care Delivery Services, Physician/Patient Information Management, and Stakeholder Engagement.

Based on the feedback, attendees agree the event stimulated much-needed discussion in this area.

"(It was) a great forum for exchanging ideas on the challenges of modern medicine in the U.S.,” says Russel Fraust, MD, Anicca Media.

Sessions included presenters from health care, information technology and universities around the country, including eight physicians, one advance practice nurse and health care CEO; five health care consultants, and faculty members from Oakland University, Cooley Law School and four from other states.

“It was an interesting mix of practical and academic views at the challenge of dealing with the topic of health care in the US. It was refreshing to hear people talking about this topic without all of the emotion fed politics." Notes Mark a former GM researcher.

Presenters included those such as Jack Weiner, CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Edith Killins, Wayne County, Director-Health and Human Services, Ramu Kannan, CIO, Concentra (Humana), Bassam Nasr, MD, Physician Health Care Network, Sajay Raj, president and CEO, Securely Yours, Joseph Tan, McMaster University, and many more (click here for full list in program).

During forum’s roundtable discussion held the following day, individuals gathered to discuss direction for future research and develop action items. Ideas from the roundtable included developing a discussion blog to continue the dialog on health care issues; develop a massively open online course to educate others on the topic; establish a think tank to address health care reform challenges and seek external funding; create a database (without identifying information) to assist students/faculty from partner institutions to study interesting research questions.

“(T)he discussion I witnessed during the roundtable did an excellent job of exposing many of the issues and seemed very much in line from what I have heard from people in DC and the research community on these topics,” says Dr. Matt Wimble, UM-Dearborn

Recognizing that patient-physician relationship and interaction is the key, this forum offered leaders and managers the opportunity to gain insights in organizational structure, partnerships, and leveraging information technology in support of operational efficiency and decision effectiveness while remaining focused on customer relationships and co-creating value with innovative products and services.

“To successfully address the many anticipated challenges, the health care needs collective action across multiple units – those within an organization and those outside it -- as well as multiple institutions within a region,” adds Tanniru in summary. “Not only does the successful transformation of the industry impact the well-being of citizens in this region, it is important growing industry.”

The health care forum was sponsored by  the Executive MBA in Health Care Management at Oakland University, Oakland County’s Medical Main Street, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, United Physicians, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services, and CIBRE (Center for Integrated Business Research and Education) at Oakland University’s School of Business Administration. Promoting sponsors included Automation Alley and Michigan Wellness.