Sunday, August 02, 2015

Business of Health faculty member reflects on creation of Medicare

UTSA Professor Dana Forgione

UTSA Professor Dana Forgione

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(July 30, 2014) -- Thanks to President Johnson, a right of passage upon turning 65 has become enrolling in Medicare. Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965, and celebrates its 49th anniversary this month. Under the leadership of President Johnson, Medicare originally was established to provide health insurance to people age 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history. Before Medicare's creation, approximately 65 percent of those over 65 had health insurance, with coverage often unavailable or unaffordable to the rest.

"Prior to Medicare, it was generally a pay-as-you-go system," said Dana Forgione, the Janey S. Briscoe Endowed Chair in the Business of Health in the UTSA College of Business. "Medicare payment was originally based on cost reimbursement, so costs rose under the system.

"It was originally projected to cost $8 billion by 2002, but today the costs are nearly $750 billion," said Forgione, an expert in health-care financial management. "The most significant change to Medicare occurred in 1983 where they changed to a prospective payment system -- fixed price controls based on a particular diagnosis. While price was controlled, volume was not, resulting in the over-utilization of services."

The latest health-care initiative is the creation of the Affordable Care Act. While it is too soon to analyze the success of this program, Forgione notes that the program is focused on bundled payments, accountability and quality of care.

According to Forgione, when Medicare began, eight workers supported each retiree. Now there are five workers per retiree. In the future, when the baby boomers begin retiring, there will be only 2.3 workers supporting every retiree.

Yet, Forgione agrees that the Medicare system was needed. "Medicare filled a need," he said. "A lot of elderly and retired individuals as well as those with disabilities and end-stage renal disease are provided with government health care because of this law."

With Medicare occupying a huge chunk of the economy, what can be done? Forgione offers three suggestions to improve the current Medicare system.

"With 30 percent of Medicare costs related to hospitalization, we need to incentivize the hospitals to improve efficiencies. We also need to incentivize appropriate care and support quality care for patients."

Forgione leads the college's Business of Health program, which includes a Business of Health concentration in the MBA program, a dual degree MBA/MPH program with the University of Texas School of Public Health and a graduate certificate program. The Business of Health program provides individuals with practical skills needed in today's health-care field. The focus of the program is distinctively on the applied financial and managerial aspects of health care.

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Did You Know?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

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Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p,m,; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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