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USF Health Panel Addresses Current Healthcare Issues

April 27, 2016

On April 20, The USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) invited an elite group of individuals to sit on a panel addressing the current issues in Healthcare and the ways in which it is changing.  Leading the conversation was Meredith Rosenthal, PhD, professor of health economics and policy and associate dean for diversity at Harvard School of Public Health.

Panelists included Charles Lockwood, MD, senior vice president of USF Health and the dean of the Morsani College of Medicine; Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa; Jessica Cooper, Executive Vice President of Delos Solutions; and Mark Anderson, DSc, the Senior Vice President of Ambulatory services at Tampa General Hospital.

Dr. Rosenthal lead the discussion about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on communities and health care organizations.  She explained why is it such a complex system and admitted there is no winning proposition in the current situation.  She described the Affordable Care Act as a freight train running down the tracks.  Her solution for healthcare was population health, by reducing the number of people who are admitted into hospitals and by creating an environment that promotes healthy behaviors, we will begin to see a positive change in healthcare.

Dr. Lockwood agreed that healthcare is a serious problem.  He joked that Starbucks spends more on healthcare than coffee.  In his opinion the Affordable Care Act is unsustainable and his concern is with the negative impact it has on medical school clinical revenue and medical students.  USF Health has begun working with Tampa General Hospital to develop a new primary care system.  Using technology, they are working together to provide better care to patients without forcing them to leave their homes.  Dr. Lockwood did stress, however, that the people of Tampa must get out and walk. “We live in Tampa it’s always sunny!”

Mayor Bob Buckhorn gave insight into how the Affordable Care Act has affected Tampa from his perspective.  Since its implementation almost 1.6 million people have health care coverage.  That is something that at the macro level, he believes makes us a better city.  To put the issue of healthcare into perspective he said that there are over 87,000 fire department runs made every year and 80% of them are medical.  Without the Affordable Care Act, our local government is forced to take on those expenses.

Mark Anderson and Tampa General Hospital have had to make many changes to accommodate the issues in healthcare.  Financially, the trends show inpatient activity decreasing and outpatient increasing.  While this is great for the community and is the hospitals’ priority as well, it means that partnership is essential in order for the hospital to survive.  TGH has partnered with USF Health and well as Florida Hospital in an effort to provide the best possible care for patients.

Jessica Cooper spoke about the sustainability movement and the affect technology is having on communities and health.  At Delos Solutions they believe that changing the way buildings and infrastructure interact with people is the next step in healthcare.  Cooper believes that smart buildings will be able to teach and impact behavior.  People who live in nice communities tend to take care of the community more.  She believes they also take care of themselves more.  By implementing high standards of air quality, water quality, health food, fitness, acoustics and thermal, lighting, safety, cognitive health and material health, we will begin to see positive changes in population health.  Imagine you walk into your office and the soft lighting comes on, the air adjusts to the proper temperature and the shades over the window open.  This hypothetical example only begins to illustrate the possibilities available to us through technology.

The future of healthcare is at a turning point.  Visit the USF Health website or any one of the following resources to learn more.

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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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