Health Care

MIT Sloan to host health innovation conference


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 17, 2016––The health industry has a direct impact on quality of life and the U.S. and global economy. It also is in the process of major transformation, driven by changes in market payment schemes. Current health systems were designed to provide discrete episodic care to patients in locations like hospitals, and paid based on the volume of services provided (fee-for-service). The cost-quality-access tradeoff must now be fundamentally changed to focus on health outcomes and efficiency. MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative for Health Systems Innovation (HSI) aspires to play a pivotal role in this transformation. Bringing together faculty, researchers, clinicians and practitioners from across MIT and around the country, it is holding a Health Systems Innovation Conference on Oct. 21, 2016 to advance health management and delivery.

“The health industry in the U.S. has been at the center of intensive public debates, as Healthcare Reform ignited major changes in the way we pay for healthcare. The policy reforms are necessary, but now comes the hard work of adapting to them in a way that changes the cost-quality-access tradeoffs of the health industry,” says MIT Sloan Prof. Joseph Doyle, co-chair of the conference and the HSI. “MIT Sloan’s HSI is dedicated to accelerating the creation of high-quality and cost-effective health systems through collaboration with industry partners in both our research and educational efforts. This conference will feature state-of-the-art ideas on the biggest challenges faced by the health industry in the U.S. and around the world, including how to use emerging technologies to transform health systems.”

MIT Sloan Prof. Retsef Levi, co-chair of the conference and the HSI, notes, “For the last decade, we’ve been tweaking the market payment schemes, but the major problems have not gone away. We really need to fundamentally rethink how health systems are structured and what organizational capabilities they should have in terms of analytics, technology, workforce, processes and resource allocation. This event will showcase different perspectives and system approaches to address the challenges we face as to how we change the access-quality-cost equation.”

He adds, “Ultimately, this is a complex management problem on how humans -- patients and clinicians -- optimally interact with technology and clinical resources. Only deep understanding and the systematic integration of organizational aspects, human behaviors, and data analytics and technology will lead to better systems that are equipped with the right capabilities to fulfill their new mission.”

The conference will focus on three major challenges in this transformation. The first is the management of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart failure. Participants will examine how this issue should be addressed in the redesign of health systems. Second is the role of telemedicine, which is intended to facilitate access to care, but is not always productive. Panelists will discuss its future and how to evaluate effectiveness. The third challenge involves intra-system payment and reward plans, with the discussion focused on how to financially reward and incentivize providers with structures that would make it easy for them to do the right thing for patients and the health system.

In addition to Levi and Doyle, speakers at the event include:

  • Martin Schmidt, SM’83, PhD’88, Provost at MIT
  • MIT Sloan Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas
  • Ron Williams, former chairman and CEO of Aetna, Inc.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Baca, Senior Health Advisor at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine
  • Dr. Gwen O’Keefe, Principal of GO Healthcare Strategy
  • Mary Modahl, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of American Well Corp.
  • Dr. Michael Hodgkins, Chief Medical Information Officer at the American Medical Association
  • Kevin Galpin, Acting Chief Consultant of VHA Telehealth Services
  • Daniel Silberman, MBA’06, CEO and Cofounder of Mediconecta
  • Joseph Levitch, principal of Sullivan, Cotter and Assocs. Inc.
  • Niall Brennan, Chief Data Officer and Director of the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

For more information about the Conference or to register, click here.

The MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at

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