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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Health Care Report Cards – Time for Second Thoughts?

J.B. Silvers, Ph.D. - John R. Mannix Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Finance at Case Western Reserve University
Friday December 9, 2016
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Proposals for health care reforms continually call for more measurement – of patient outcomes, processes, satisfaction, and especially "performance" by health care providers. These ideas reflect a presumption, in modern business and government cultures, that efficiency and responsiveness are only possible with measurement. Warnings that measures are too often wrong; or easily gamed; or distort attention in dangerous ways, have long been ignored.

But experience is beginning to cause some doubts. Recently Donald Berwick – founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, former head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and a leader in efforts to apply "modern management" to health care – has declared that, "we need to tame measurement. It has gone crazy. Far from showing us our way, these searchlights training on us, they blind us."

Professor Silvers' broad and deep experience, including as a member for a dozen years of the Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, has enabled him to observe measurement from all sides. Join us to discuss whether the dominant view of how to improve health care is more a solution or problem.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

J.B. Silvers, Ph.D., is the John R. Mannix Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Finance and professor of banking and finance at Weatherhead School of Management with a joint appointment in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. His research in the areas of financial management and health services has been published in numerous journals including the Journal of Finance, Financial Management, Journal of the American Medical Association, Medical Care, Annals of Family Medicine, and the Journal of Business Research, among others.

Silvers presents regularly on multiple topics, including the Affordable Care Act and healthcare finance. In 2014, he presented a TED talk, “Overcoming History,” sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Washington, DC. Frequently, Silvers contributes commentary to NPR’s Marketplace and other national and local print and broadcast media.

Professionally, Silvers has testified to Congress, several state legislatures, federal and state courts. He has also served on committees at the National Academies and several national and state commissions. Until recently, he was a board member (12 years) and treasurer of the Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (TJC/JCAHO) and a board member of SummaCare Insurance Company (14 years). For seven years Silvers was a commissioner on the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (now MedPAC) advising Congress on Medicare payment. From 1997 to 2000, while on leave, he served as President and CEO of QualChoice Health Plan and Insurance Company. He currently is vice chair of the board at MetroHealth Medical Center. At Weatherhead, he has served as Department Chair, Senior Associate Dean and Interim Dean.

Silvers earned a PhD in finance from Stanford University, a MS in Industrial Management and a BS in Engineering Science from Purdue University. He has been a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University since 1979 after prior appointments at Stanford, Harvard and Indiana.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

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