Our mission is to address complex healthcare issues, focusing on emerging issues that affect Memphis, Shelby County, and the State of Tennessee.
The Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics (MLCHE) was established in March 2003 with a grant from Methodist Healthcare and Le Bonheur Systems, Inc. MLCHE focuses on issues of efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in healthcare through a variety of research, internship, instruction, and public service programs.
We are located in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis. Working with entities internal and external to The University of Memphis, we provide a physical and administrative structure to facilitate the study of health care and its economic impact.
Why a Center for Healthcare Economics?
The health system touches everyone, yet health care seems always to be in crisis. In many ways, Tennessee faces the same challenges as the rest of the nation: an aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the resulting increases in healthcare costs. The cost problem is compounded by a delivery system that allocates healthcare dollars in a haphazard way, with too little money spent on health promotion and prevention and too much on expensive procedures for treating acute illnesses that may be preventable.
As costs continue to escalate, employers are forced to cut back on health benefits for their current and retired employees or sacrifice other forms of compensation. Publicly funded programs face similar challenges. TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid program, has been in a constant state of flux since its inception as the State has struggled to cover its neediest citizens while maintaining a balanced budget. These and other pressing problems require extensive research to identify their root causes so that effective policy solutions can be developed.
The staff and associated researchers at MLCHE are experienced business and healthcare consultants. They have established research records in:
- Access to health care
- Health insurance coverage
- Racial disparities in health care
- Health care technology
- Quality improvement in health care
- Employee health benefits
- Hospital cost management
- Methodological issues in data collection and management
Our staff and associated researchers have been active in funded research and have served as principal or co-principal investigators on many research projects supported by a variety of federal, state, and local funding agencies. They have published in numerous refereed journals, such as Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, JAMA, The Archives of Internal Medicine, Gerontology, Health Services Research, Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, and Journal of Healthcare Management.