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Graduate Students Examine Health Care Reform with Health Insurance CEO in Unique Course

Ray Flachbart, President and CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho, is taking time from his very busy schedule to teach students from the College of Health Sciences and the College of Business and Economics. Boise State graduate students have a rare opportunity to explore one of the most discussed federal acts of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, with Flachbart.

Blue Cross of Idaho and Boise State’s COHS and COBE have teamed up to offer a spring 2012 graduate course on Health Care Reform: Impact of the Affordable Care Act. The course will be exploring strategies for controlling health care costs. In addition to a comprehensive review of the Affordable Care Act, Flachbart will teach students to identify critical issues in controlling health care costs and analyze the potential impact of the legislation on consumers, employers and health care and insurance industries.

“I am pleased to be instructing a course on health care reform at Boise State. The topic has been in the national spotlight for the past several years and it’s a subject I’m very familiar with because of my career in the health insurance and healthcare industry,” states Flachbart. “Health care reform is an extremely complex issue and stakeholders on all sides – from the public to lawmakers, to health insurance companies and healthcare providers – are tasked with some very difficult and complex decisions. Hopefully this class will shed some light on those complexities and allow for open discussion and thought that will allow students to better understand the situation.”

Sarah Toevs, Interim Director of the Master of Health Science program, explains that “Both the MHS and the MBA programs have a long history of engaging community-based experts in the classroom. Securing Mr. Flachbart’s participation is a real coup for the university; very few students have the opportunity to learn from front-line leaders at a time of such significant change.”

“The opportunity to have an individual with Ray Flachbart’s background and experience teach this class on such an important topic is wonderful,” exclaims Patrick Shannon, dean of COBE. “The chance to bring Health Sciences and College of Business and Economics graduate students together in the class is an added plus. I know our MBA students were excited about the opportunity to be in Ray’s class to learn from him and from the other students. The fact that someone as busy as Ray will take his time to share with our students speaks to his commitment to education.”

Tim Dunnagan, dean of COHS, agrees. “We hope to grow partnerships between the graduate students in the two colleges. Ray’s course is a prime example of the importance of these partnership opportunities. The skills, knowledge and expertise that come from the two colleges are critical in addressing issues associated with the affordable health care act, the most significant health delivery legislation since the 1960s.”

Students are excited to have access to real-time information on health reform and policy discussions occurring within the industry and government sectors. The expertise and perspective that Flachbart brings to the discussion adds depth and context to very complicated issues. Students, faculty and administrators all agree that “having access to people like Ray Flachbart is one of the real advantages of Boise State University.”