Doctors work in a highly regulated environment. Through the Kelley Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program, MBA students gain critical knowledge and new perspective of those charged with upholding healthcare laws and regulations.
Students, who are practicing physicians from 16 states and 29 specialties, spent a day immersed in an in-person study of the judicial and legal processes.
The physician MBAs first visited the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis to tour the U.S. District Court. In addition to learning about various federal cases and how they move through the court system, they also discovered the courthouse’s history, which dates back to the early 1900s.
They also visited the U.S. Attorney’s Office and met with Josh Minkler, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
“Opening the lines of communication between attorneys and doctors working in the healthcare field is beneficial to all of us,” said Josh Minkler, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our discussion with the physician MBA students and look forward to future conversations,” added U.S. Attorney Minkler.
“This experience is designed to provide an insight into the workings of law that is vital in a highly regulated environment like healthcare,” said Julie Manning Magid, associate professor of business law, who teaches the Business Law and Ethics course in the physician-only MBA program. “It’s important for physician leaders to understand the priorities of the federal government, not only in fighting healthcare fraud, but also in other significant healthcare matters, such as addressing the opioid addiction across the nation. They learn how these systems—law enforcement and the judiciary—work together to eliminate fraud and protect taxpayer dollars.”
“By engaging with the US Attorney’s office and the federal district court, physicians gain an understanding of the workings of the feeral government in a way that is very accessible,” added Magid. “This isn’t the interaction doctors normally have with court system, which may be as expert witnesses or for a medical malpractice claim. Our program gives them a different perspective on the larger system of legal and healthcare-related concerns.”
“This was a unique privilege,” said Karen Myung, MD, PhD, MBA’17. Myung is an orthopedic pediatric surgeon at IU Health Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Physicians do not otherwise formally learn about the legal issues in the delivery of healthcare, until it is too late.
“Instead, we often form our impressions of healthcare-related legal issues by misleading anecdotes. Just as in medicine, acting on anecdotal knowledge can be dangerous in the legal world. It is important to be aware of court decisions and the essential premises from which they are based. Often, there is clarity in these premises that simply boils down to right and wrong,” Myung added.
“The biggest takeaway for me was to realize how much the U.S. Attorney’s Office cares about public tax dollars, which is exemplified in their dedication to combating fraud,” said pulmonologist Ali Bassiri, MD, MBA’17, who is the chief of staff at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. “It’s important for physicians to realize that carelessness in billing practices can come back to haunt them in a serious manner.”
“Learning about how, when and why they choose to prosecute cases that are relevant to healthcare crime was eye-opening,” said Greg Mishkel, MD, MBA’17. Mishkel is an interventional cardiologist and is the executive medical director of the Prairie Heart Institute in Springfield, Ill.
“After that discussion, I would say, on a day-to-day basis, I look at things differently. I’m very cognizant of the decisions we make in healthcare—whether that’s hirings and firings, employment code, or responsibility to the hospital,” Mishkel explained.
“The Kelley Business of Medicine MBA Program certainly opens up a multitude of specialties that I had not imagined,” said Myung. “As the student becomes exposed through opportunities like this field trip, different interests are ignited. There are areas of business that I am impassioned by that I didn’t know existed a year ago.”