Internship Program

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The Administrative and Analytic Internship Program is world class experiential education preparing interns for health care leadership roles utilizing a management consulting methodology whereby they gather information, collect and analyze data, and build recommendations that impact the delivery of care in a relevant way.

Interns gain valuable experience in dynamic problem-solving and have the opportunity to gain practical operational experience and knowledge of the various aspects of healthcare. Interns interact with all levels of administration and clinical leadership, working with both an administrative lead and a physician champion, delving deep into the systemic issues that face health care delivery.

All internships are project-based and run for 8 weeks in the summer. Interns will work on a specific issue or research question that’s timely and relevant, using both primary and secondary data collection to analyze and define innovative solutions. Interns will use tools and frameworks from all business disciplines; including finance, operations, marketing, organizational behavior, and strategy.

Interns will receive training in problem solving techniques and will explore different analytical tools to aide them in their projects. The culmination of the internship is a final presentation and executive summary on their findings delivered to executive leadership. Interns consistently rate the Administrative and Analytical Internship as their best.

Prior Internships Include:

Analyzing Physician EHR Usage Patterns Utilizing Sequential Pattern Analysis

Authored By: Columbia University Graduate School Interns

The Physician Utilization of PRISM project was intended as a follow-up to previous projects at the Center for Health Care Management. These projects focused on the implementation of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and physician satisfaction with the EHR that was implemented in 2009.

The scope of this project was to find identify difficulties that physicians encountered within PRISM, specifically those of attending physicians in outpatient departments using PRISM during patient visits. Audit Trail data was utilized and required rigorous preparation before it could be analyzed. This involved understanding how PRISM records activities, removing events triggered behind the scenes, removing repeating data, and selecting activities that were most frequently accessed and most pertinent to the users we were analyzing.

Using Sequential Pattern Analysis (SPA) with MATLAB software many common physician usage patterns were identified, some as long as eight events, but the majority of them were shorter sequences as they had higher frequencies.

Physician Fee Schedule: Assessing the Level Playing Field of Band ‘A’ Payer

Authored By: Cornell University Graduate School Intern

The goal of this project was to leverage a study completed in 2010 to re-assess our current fee schedule and identify major variations among Band A payers. Using CPT/ E&M codes with associated benchmarking we are able to assess our fee schedule to develop a model for scenario and sensitivity analyses that will aide in ongoing negotiation support. A conversion factor model was created that converts the RVUs for each medical service into a dollar payment amount.

The conversion factor is calculated following a formula from Milliman consulting firm’s white paper, which is simply the total dollars divided by the total RVU for each category. We were then able to assess different opportunity costs by manipulating the conversion factor in certain categories to create a more equal playing field among the Band A payers.

A Study of Patient Flow Through the Dermatology Clinic

Authored By: University of Vermont Undergraduate Intern

The purpose of the patient flow study was to identify bottlenecks in the system and better understand workflow efficiency to increase patient flow and appointment capacity. A time and motion study was conducted in fifty-six clinics randomly selected and observed. The patient was watched from the time he entered the clinic with the medical assistant (registration was excluded for this exercise) until the time the physician or physician’s assistant left the patient’s room. There were a sufficient number of observations to allow for statistical conclusions to be made. After analyzing the data some findings were significant.

These findings include the difference in scheduled and allotted appointment times, the number of no shows, factors that affect the actual length of the appointment (such as labs, status of patient—new vs. established, etc.), overall differences between physicians and physicians assistants (such as proportion of new patients), the average time each stakeholder spends with the patient, scheduled vs. actual clinic hours, provider time spent in PRISM, and bypassing of residents.

Recommendations include; standardization of clinic hours in order to have a uniform number of appointments within the assigned clinic hours to increase the number of patients who can be seen each year. Second, lengthen appointment slots to 20-minutes and add resident clinics to make up for any appointment loss and provide additional capacity in the appointment system. Finally, decrease the no shows rate by utilizing the reception staff for calling patients two days prior to an appointment and charging a fee for no shows.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for the annual summer internship with the Center for Health Care Management, please submit a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript in the months of January and February to: abigail.trutor@vtmednet.org.

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