The Business of Health Care in Mississippi

By Murray L. Harber

The business of health care affects Mississippi companies, health providers, health insurers, and government entities alike. Each stakeholder group is looking at a variety of ways to improve their systems and processes as rising costs, reduced payments, questions about quality, and consumer demands are changing. Understanding the steps in the process and methods needing improvement are vital to making a better system for each stakeholder.

For seven years, the Mississippi Business Group on Health and the Mississippi College School of Business have partnered to offer the Mississippi Health Care Summit, bringing together the state’s business and health care leaders to discuss current trends and issues with the business of health care. National experts along with regional and local leaders share their thoughts and strategies to improve cost and quality while improving health.

The Annual MSBGH Health Summit, in partnership with Mississippi College, is an outstanding event. It brings leaders from across the state to network, exchange ideas and share visions of how to improve both the health of their employees and cost of providing health insurance. It also addresses many of the challenges of treating and delivering health care to create a value based outcome, balancing quality and cost.

Billy Sims, VP of Human Resources, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance

The latest issue effecting employer-based plans are specialty pharmacy costs. In fact, industry experts predict that by 2020, specialty drugs will make up 40% of total pharmacy spend, whereas it made up 17% in 2013. This increase is a of special concern to employers as they are wanting to keep the richness of their current plans and will need to make adjustments to plan design to accommodate these specific cost drivers. Dr. Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh, a national expert, will share his thoughts on these concerns and discuss solutions that employers across the country are considering when managing employer populations.

Think about the turf battles underway today among the middleman in healthcare that have driven inefficiency and half of the cost for health care today. Specialty drugs are now an integral part of medical care requiring a shift in thinking about how and where health services are delivered—and by whom.

Dr. Randy Vogenberg, PhD., RPh.

Several of Mississippi’s leading employers were recognized as the state’s Healthiest Workplaces last month, including Ingalls Shipbuilding, Hol-Mac Corporation, and the Mississippi Hospital Association. These employers will share their approach to employer health management and the strategies that helped them produce results. Human Resources professionals are spending more time on health benefits and promoting the value of consumerism, healthy lifestyles, and effective disease management to their employees and their families. Attendees of the event will leave with great ideas on effective strategies which can make a difference.

Health plans, health systems, and health providers are working hard in Mississippi to improve their own care delivery and population health management. We have assembled two great panels, a physician panel and a health care administrator panel, to have them share their approaches to the changing landscape of health care delivery and payment systems. Value-based care and benefits will be discussed in detail and how these groups believe they will make a different in the near term and future.

Other speakers will discuss mental health and health care quality rating systems. Cristie Travis, the Executive Director of the Memphis Business Group on Health and who serves on the board of Leapfrog Group, a leading hospital quality reporting organization, will discuss the difference and importance of the rating system.

This year’s event has a great line up of speakers and panelist. Employers, Providers, and Health Care Administrators can all learn meaningful information about the current business of health care in Mississippi. To learn more, register, and/or sponsor the event, please visit We hope to see you there!

Murray L. Harber Executive Director Mississippi Business Group on Health murraylynnharber

Murray L. Harber, Executive Director Mississippi Business Group on Health