CFO Roundtable examines what healthcare reform means to South Florida.

Nancy Borkowski, director of the Healthcare MBA program in the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University’s (FIU), opened a CFO Roundtable with an unusual challenge:

Be the first to assemble six pieces of brightly colored foam into a pencil cube.

More than 150 executives, alumni and students gathered at the College of Business Administration’s Ocean Bank Auditorium quickly started trying, wondering what it meant. After declaring a winner, Borkowski explained its significance.

Attendees at the “What Healthcare Reform Means to South Florida” CFO Roundtable held at FIU faced a challenge that introduced them to the problems in the South Florida healthcare sector and a solution offered by the business school.

“Our new Healthcare MBA is all about putting the pieces of healthcare together,” she said, noting that the recently enacted historic federal health reform legislation will bring radical changes to the structure and financing of the system.

“What Healthcare Reform Means to South Florida,” tapped some of the region’s most knowledgeable experts to speak on these challenges.

“I have wished and hoped for healthcare reform,” said panel moderator Linda Quick (MS ’74), president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association. “South Florida’s healthcare system is a poster child for why we need healthcare reform.”

Panelists share insights.

David Hoskinson, vice president, MEDNAX/Pediatrix Medical Group, a 1,400-member physician group practice, predicted that a shrinking pool of government dollars and an expanding Medicaid population would increase pressure on private payers as costs are shifted.

According to Balbino Vazquez, CFO, Humana, South Florida, everyone’s margins will be squeezed—physicians, insurance companies, hospitals.

“The issue will be how all of this will get paid for,” he said.

Matthew Muhart, CFO, Memorial Healthcare System, added, “The story of the day is to be nimble. Hopefully, most providers have had built strong management teams and an engaged workforce that can see us through the upcoming changes.”

From left to right: Nancy Borkowski, Linda Quick, Matthew Muhart, Balbino Vazquez and David Hoskinson

Borkowski emphasized FIU Business’ ongoing leadership in the healthcare community, including sponsorship of upcoming South Florida healthcare reform forums.

“We’re disseminating as much information and as quickly as possible so we can improve decision making in this new environment,” she said.

Healthcare Financial Management Association – Florida Chapter; South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc.; Women’s Healthcare Executive Network of South Florida; and the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Reporter co-sponsored the forum.

Applications are being accepted for the first Healthcare MBA class, beginning in the fall of 2010. The 18-month program of Saturday classes will be held at the FIU Business Downtown center.


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