Berkeley Center For Health Technology Fall Student Workshop


On Friday, 10/14, I attended the Berkeley Center for Health Technology’s fall student workshop. True, my Organizational Behavior final was that evening from 5:30 – 8:30 and I found myself less prepared than I had hoped, but I decided to attend the workshop anyway. Business school is about making trade-offs, right? The workshop consisted of a two hour moderated panel discussion with five healthcare thought leaders and a break for networking in the middle. I was blown away by the panelists and discussion. The panel consisted of:

• Leonard Schaeffer, the former Chairman and CEO of WellPoint; he is now an academic and served on the committee that is helping to define the essential benefits of the insurance products to be offered on the PPACA insurance exchanges.

• Cal Knight, the former head of Swedish medical center in Seattle and the current head of John Muir health in Walnut Creek, CA.

• Kent Lieginger, the Senior VP of Managed Care and Commercial Operations at Genentech.

• Steve Shortell, our very own dean of the School of Public Health.

The panel was moderated by Cindy Ehnes who is currently the director of the California Children’s Hospital Association and the former director of the California Department of Managed Care (the regulator that oversees Managed Care in CA). Two professors form the school of public health, Kim MacPherson and James Robinson rounded out the group.

For those interested in Healthcare, this is a Who’s Who list of people.
The topic for the day centered around costs, namely the interaction between the economic crisis on healthcare and vice versa. As we all know, payers, providers, and drug makers are often at odds with each other and the multiple perspectives sure came out during the panel. At one point, Cal Knight suggested the consolidation among providers will help control costs, at which point Kent and Leo immediately jumped in with the opposite opinion (hospitals use their market leverage to demand higher rates from insurers).

There were probably around 30 students in attendance, and I was thrilled to be able to meet with Leo and Cal during the networking breaks. I was a little in awe speaking with them, but they were friendly, thoughtful, and encouraged questions.

I must admit that I was a little exhausted from the workshop as I walked to my final exam, but attending workshops like this one is one of the reasons that I came to CAL.

-Richard Fessler MBA/MPH 2013

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