Steven R. Eastaugh

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Three thousand health care managers and leaders in the United States and around the world have had their careers shaped in part by Professor Eastaugh, who has taught health finance and economics for more than 36 years. The author of nine books and more than 149 journal articles, Dr. Eastaugh is a nationally acclaimed speaker, consultant and agent of change who has traveled to some 36 countries as part of his health services research. In 2008-2010 he was Health Policy Advisor to Barack Obama.

Professor Eastaugh has won numerous awards, including the American College of Healthcare Executives Edgar Hayhow Award for "best health care article of the year." He also won the Marriott Award for productivity enhancement in the service sector. He has been a forceful advocate for universal affordable health insurance, which he believes can be funded through dramatic reductions in health care paperwork and administrative costs. Prior to coming to GW, Dr. Eastaugh taught at Cornell University and was senior staff health economist at the National Academy of Sciences.

Speaking Topics

Future Options for Healthcare Reform
Our past solutions are our current problems. The consumer marketplace system encourages demand and diversity, whereas the control system leads to uniformity and possibly rationing. American business is increasingly looking to Europe and Asia for global budget strategies to contain price, quantity, and total expense. Can we continue our tradition of resisting a comprehensive single system, given that it is very expensive and duplicative? Current policy trends point in all different directions like a pile of jackstraws.

Will Managed Care Evolve or Wither?
Physicians and patients are increasingly dissatisfied with managed care. Some HMOs and PPOs have made the ultimate cost sacrifice by simply closing down. In order to survive, managed care must improve customer relations, trim paperwork, develop new service-lines, and utilize life-cycle costing. Employers and the public want their healthcare to offer a delicate balance as a social good and a consumer good.

Strategic Marketing in Selecting Your Service-Mix
Do not confuse bad performance with destiny. You can improve your position with the right management and incentives. One must manage risk in today's rapidly changing marketplace by surveying product, place, price, and promotion. The benefits and costs of both specialization and diversification are surveyed. Increasingly, specialization helps trim expenses and enhances service quality.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Value of Life & Limb
Cost-benefit analysis becomes critical as the cost of new biomedical technology skyrockets beyond any recent projections. A good analysis must: (1) make the evaluation as complex as necessary, (2) assign values to resources that reflect their opportunity costs, (3) avoid zero counting of resources, and (4) avoid double counting of resources. We are going to have to develop and disseminate better information; some small fraction of what we now spend on healthcare could be better spent in other areas. Our methods to evaluate the value of life have improved for collecting better data and incorporating intangible life valuations into the calculus for weighing benefits against costs.

Enhancing Productivity
Enhancing productivity better balances all factors of service delivery to get the greatest output for the least input effort. The best productivity programs are rapid, large in scale, cost beneficial, and provide benchmarks for assessing future performance. Programs that focus on the activities of individuals ignore the two greatest keys to improvement: work-team organization and acuity-driven workload staffing. Gainsharing incentive compensation plans can foster long term productivity gains.

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