Robert Graboyes, a recognized national expert in medical innovation, agrees there’s room for improvement where our nation’s health care system is concerned.

Robert Graboyes, senior research fellow and healthcare scholar with Mercatus

Contrary to popular opinion, however, Graboyes asserts that pricing transparency is not the solution. In fact, the senior research fellow at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, goes so far as to say that mandatory transparency would even be detrimental to the whole.

“Open transparency can amount to tacit conspiracy [among suppliers],” Graboyes told those who gathered Tuesday, July 16, on Concordia University Wisconsin’s campus for the third annual Healthcare Economics Summit. “If you mandate transparency, the big guys who hate [a particular] hospital, they’ll make sure their lobbyists define transparency in their best interests. They’ll mandate that hospital out of business. It’ll be regulatory capture.”

Instead, the answer to the nation’s health care crisis lies in technological advancements, says Graboyes. He laid out his case in front of a crowd of nearly 150 people who gathered in the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship for yesterday’s summit. Graboyes’ keynote, titled “One Hand Clapping: Trump’s Healthcare Proposals, Haven and More,” kicked off the morning-long event.

The Healthcare Economic Summit is an effort of Concordia’s Batterman School of Business and Remedium eXchange (Rx), a CUW-led think tank comprised of Wisconsin business leaders who share a goal to consumerize health care by incentivizing, educating, and empowering consumers. Previous years’ summits have welcomed former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Dr. Barbara McAneny, the president of the nation’s largest physician organization, as keynotes.

This year’s summit tackled the health care concern from a variety of angles by bringing together an impressive roster of health care, business, and thought leaders from across the nation.

Chet Robson, chief medical officer for Walgreens, delivered a secondary keynote address during which he shared insights on delivering health care in every neighborhood via drugstore-based medical homes as portals to primary care.

The morning event also featured speakers or panelists including:

  • Allison Oelschlaeger, chief data officer and director for the Center, Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Naomi Lopez-Bauman, director of Healthcare Policy, Goldwater Institute
  • Curt Gielow, business consultant, Gielow Ventures, LL
  • Joe Sanfelippo, State Representative, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Robert Popovian, Vice President of US Government Relations, Pfizer
  • Antonio Claccia, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Ohio Pharmacists Association
  • Lisa Johnson, CEO, BioForward
  • Will Tesch, CEO, TESCHGlobal and CEO of HealthLX
  • Jim Van Lieshout, Senior Director of Industry Relations and Contracting, Navitus Health Solutions
  • Jim Tarasovich, South Region CGO, Ascension-Wisconsin
Concordia President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD

The annual summits are among the myriad ways Concordia seeks to drive meaningful health care change. In two weeks, the university will also celebrate the completion of its newest academic building, The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. The building was intentionally designed to be a space where future leaders in the business of health care arena can learn how to employ smart solutions once they’re in the workforce.

Related: Concordia to dedicate its new academic building

In addition to housing Concordia’s thriving Batterman School of Business and Speech-Language Pathology program, The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center will include: an incubator space for students, faculty, and the local business community to come together and form innovative startup companies; a meeting space for the Rx think tank; and a Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic that will model the consumerization of health care using free-market principles.

The public is invited to attend The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 1. Learn more about the celebration by clicking here.

Learn more about Concordia’s Batterman School of Business by clicking here.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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