(Photo courtesy of UMDearborn.edu)

By MARIA KANSO, News Editor

The College of Business, along with DFCU Financial, held a panel under under the title “How Healthcare has Changed the Business Environment”.

The speakers of the panel, known for their experience in healthcare and business included Dan Wakeman, Rick O’Donnell and Rob Casalou.

The session focused on the ways the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) works, and in what ways it doesn’t in the business world.

“The ACA, I don’t think has delivered the promise that its founders have intended because of the way that it got rolled out,” Rob Casalou.

An alumni to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Casalou is currently President and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. He worked 20 years for the St. John Providence Health System and is Chair of the Board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan.

Caslou argued that access to the ACA is the main issue because it is unevenly available. He said that the number of people insured didn’t go up as much as the ACA was supposed to insure, and that some of that access was not created because a lot of states didn’t expand Medicaid.

“For the highest cost-per-capita health system in the world, and we’re ranked 34th in the world in health; I’m an outcomes guy, and that is not a system that is working well,” Caslou said. “It may work in pockets, it may work for certain communities, it may work for certain industries. But as a whole, in my estimation, it is not working well.”

Rick O’Donnell said he agrees that the ACA improved health care coverage, and that it has done a good job at doing that. O’Donnell is Vice President of Provider Contracting and Reimbursement at Priority Health, and was Vice President of Payer Strategies and Contracting until 2012.

“The reality is this country can’t afford the medicare system as it stands right now, and has to be changed, and the way it has to be changed is that we’re going to add value to health care and not just volume,” said Dan Wakeman, who is President and CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital. “We have been a high volume business for years, which has caused the access problem.”