McDonough School of Business
News Story

A Prescription for Progress: Healthcare in the United States Needs Reform. Is Business the Antidote?

The healthcare industry is facing many challenges: workforce shortages, rising medical expenses, technological advancements, and disparities in access to care, among many others. As one of the most consequential sectors of the nation’s economy, change is necessary — and inevitable. The first step to addressing the healthcare crisis, according to Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkley Chair, lies within the power of business.

Paul Almeida, Dean

McDonough recently launched an MBA Certificate in the Business of Healthcare. Why is Georgetown the right school to address healthcare reform?

Washington, D.C., is home to major medical research institutions, top hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, influential government agencies, and policymakers, and of course our own top School of Medicine. Georgetown has the power to convene the right people, embrace interdisciplinary expertise, and apply the business tools, techniques, and processes to address the challenges of healthcare.

Additionally, it is aligned with our Jesuit mission to be actively engaged in research and teaching that leads to better outcomes for business and society. Beyond economic opportunity, we have a moral obligation to ensure the well-being of our communities so everyone has the ability to flourish and live a prosperous life.

What is the role of business in the future of healthcare?

It’s in everyone’s interest to improve world health outcomes. Healthcare is integral to personal well-being and quality of life, and it’s also a worldwide system that fosters economic stability. In a perfect world, people everywhere would have access to the standard of care they need to thrive, but the reality is that healthcare is different across every corner of the globe and each fragmented system has its own problems to overcome.

The areas in need of reform can be connected back to fundamental business practices —management, leadership, the application of technology, logistics, and innovation. Additionally, with a system as complex as healthcare, solutions will need to cross multiple sectors to be effective. Business is particularly good at evaluating the interactions between functions and identifying new ways to improve and revitalize, and as a result, it will be an important catalyst for change in healthcare.

How does a healthy or unhealthy society impact business?

The global pandemic taught us firsthand how interconnected health and well-being are to the prosperity of our communities. There are vast implications for a society that doesn’t prioritize the health of its people, such as decreased workforce productivity, higher healthcare expenses and insurance premiums, declines in labor force participation, and other socioeconomic factors that impact businesses and their stakeholders. Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the United States, and it employs a considerable percentage of the population. When we invest in the success of healthcare organizations and their people, we create a better economic outlook for businesses, the economy, and the nation at large.

This story was originally featured in the Georgetown Business Spring 2024 Magazine. Download the Georgetown Business Audio app to listen to the stories and other bonus content.

Georgetown Business Magazine