Photo of Lawton R. Burns

Lawton R. Burns

James Joo-Jin Kim Professor of Health Care Management

Department Chair

Research Interests: formal organizations, health care management, hospital-physician relationships, integrated health care, physician networks, physician practice management firms, strategic change, supply chain management

Links: CV, Personal Website

Contact Information

Address: 203 Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email: burnsl@wharton.upenn.edu
Office: (215) 898-3711

Overview

Education

PhD, University of Chicago, 1981; MBA, University of Chicago, 1984; MA, University of Chicago, 1976; BA, Haverford College, 1973

Recent Consulting

Analysis of the pharmaceutical outsourcing market, IMB, 2003-04; Antitrust implications of PHOs, Federal Trade Commission, 2004; Development of integrated delivery systems, Illinois Hospital Association, 1994-97

Career and Recent Professional Awards; Teaching Awards

2003: Board of Institute of Medicine, Health Services Research Section; 2001: Arthur Anderson Distinguished Visitor, University of Cambridge (UK); 1999:Teacher of the Year, Administrative Medicine Program, School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin; 1992-93: Edwin Crosby Memorial Fellowship, Hospital Research and Educational Trust; 1990-91: Udall Fellowship, Udall Center for Public Policy; 1997: Invited Lecture Series, Catholic University of Rome, Luiss, and National Agency for Health Care Services (Rome)

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 1994-present (Chairperson, Health Care Systems Department, 2008-present; named James Joo-Jin Kim Professor, 1999; Director, Wharton Center for Health Management and Economics, 1999-present). Previous appointments: University of Arizona; University of Chicago. Visiting appointment: University of Wisconsin

Professional Leadership 2005-2009

Editorial Board, Health Services Research, 1994-present

Biosketch

Lawton Robert Burns, Ph.D., MBA, is the Chair of the Health Care Management Department, the James Joo-Jin Kim Professor, a Professor of Health Care Management, and a Professor of Management in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Director of the Wharton Center for Health Management & Economics, and Co-Director of the Roy & Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management.  He received his doctorate in Sociology and his MBA in Health Administration from the University of Chicago. Dr. Burns taught previously in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago and the College of Business Administration at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Burns has analyzed physician-hospital integration over the past 25 years. In recognition of this research, Dr. Burns was named the Edwin L. Crosby Memorial Fellow by the Hospital Research and Educational Trust in 1992. Dr. Burns has also published several papers on hospital systems and physician group practices. The last 13 years he spent studying the healthcare supply chain. He completed a book on supply chain management in the healthcare industry, The Health Care Value Chain (Jossey-Bass, 2002), and a recent analysis of alliances between imaging equipment makers and hospital systems. These studies focus on the strategic alliances and partnerships developing between pharmaceutical firms/distributors, disposable manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, and organized delivery systems.  He has also edited The Business of Healthcare Innovation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) which analyzes the healthcare technology sectors globally: pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and information technology. Most recently, he has served as lead editor of the 6th Edition of the major text, Healthcare Management: Organization Design & Behavior (Delmar, 2011). His latest book, India’s Healthcare Industry, was just published in 2014 (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Dr. Burns teaches courses on healthcare strategy, strategic change, strategic implementation, organization and management, managed care, and integrated delivery networks. From 1998-2002, he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, where he taught corporate strategy to physicians. Dr. Burns also received an Investigator Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the reasons for failure in organizational change efforts by healthcare providers. He is a past member of the Grant Review Study Section for the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research, and a past board member of the Health Services Section of the Institute of Medicine. He is also a Life Fellow of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge.

 

Research


  • Guy David, Rich Lindrooth, Lorens Helmchen, Lawton R. Burns (Under Review), Do Hospitals Cross Subsidize?.  Abstract  Related Materials
  • Lawton R. Burns, Michael Housman, Robert Booth, Aaron Koenig (2009), Implant Vendors and Hospitals: Competing Influences over Product Choice by Orthopedic Surgeons, Health Care Management Review, 34(1): 2-18, 2009.  Abstract
  • Lawton R. Burns, Michael Housman, Charles Robinson (2009), Market Entry And Exit By Biotech And Device Companies Funded By Venture Capital, Health Affairs, Web Exclusive. December 2, 2008. W76-86.  Abstract
  • Lawton R. Burns, Mark V. Pauly (2008), Price Transparency For Medical Devices, Health Affairs, 27(6): 1544-1553, 2008.  Abstract
  • Lawton R. Burns, Ralph W. Muller (2008), Hospital-Physician Collaboration: Landscape of Economic Integration and Impact on Clinical Integration, Milbank Quarterly, 86(3): 375 - 434, 2008.  Abstract

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Courses

Current

  • HCMG841 - Health Services System

    This course provides an overview of the evolution, structure and current issues in the health care system. It examines the unique features of health care as a product, and the changing relationships between patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, communities, and government. The course examines three broad segments of the health care industry: payors, providers and suppliers. Within the payor segment, the course examines the sources and destinations of spending, managed care (HMOs, PPOs),employer based health insurance, technology assessment, payor strategy, and efforts to pay for the elderly, the poor & the medically indigent. Within the provider segment, the course examines the impact of cost containment and competition on hospitals and integrated delivery systems, long term care and disease management, and the important role of epedemiology in assessing population health needs and risks. Within the supplier segment, the course will examine developments in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical devices, genomics and IT industries. NOTE: This is a required course for Wharton Graduate Health Care Management majors; it counts as an elective course for all other Wharton Graduate students. It is also open to Law School and Nursing School students with a joint Wharton Program.

    Please note that during the Wharton Pre-term program, there are three additional sessions that serve as important background material for this course. The instructor presumes you know this material when the regular course begins.

    HCMG841751 

Previous

  • HCMG841 - Health Services System

    This course provides an overview of the evolution, structure and current issues in the health care system. It examines the unique features of health care as a product, and the changing relationships between patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, communities, and government. The course examines three broad segments of the health care industry: payors, providers and suppliers. Within the payor segment, the course examines the sources and destinations of spending, managed care (HMOs, PPOs),employer based health insurance, technology assessment, payor strategy, and efforts to pay for the elderly, the poor & the medically indigent. Within the provider segment, the course examines the impact of cost containment and competition on hospitals and integrated delivery systems, long term care and disease management, and the important role of epedemiology in assessing population health needs and risks. Within the supplier segment, the course will examine developments in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical devices, genomics and IT industries. NOTE: This is a required course for Wharton Graduate Health Care Management majors; it counts as an elective course for all other Wharton Graduate students. It is also open to Law School and Nursing School students with a joint Wharton Program.

  • HCMG845 - Managed Care and the Industrial Organization of Health Care

    This course, co-taught with Brad Fluegel (former Executive VP of Wellpoint, Inc and current Chief Strategy Officer at Walgreens) will focus on two interrelated topics: managed care and market structure. The section on managed care will cover strategic planning and marketing of managed care services, operational issues in developing a managed care network, actuarial issues, and the management of physician behavior. The section on health care market structure will analyze strategies of vertical integration and horizontal integration (M+As), and their attempt to alter the balance of power in local healthcare markets. The section will also analyze the operational issues in managing cost and quality in an integrated system, integration along the supply chain, and the performance of these systems, and the bargaining and negotiation between hospitals, physicians, and health plans.

  • HCMG863 - Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Device Industries

    This course provides an overview of the management, economic and policy issues facing the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The course perspective is global, but with emphasis on the U.S. as the largest and most profitable market. Critical issues we will examine include: R&D intensive cost structure with regulation and rapid technological change; strategic challenges of biotechnology startups; a complex global marketplace in which prices are regulated in most countries and customers include governments and insurers, as well as physicians, and consumers; intense and evolving M&A, joint ventures, and complex alliances; thriving generics industry in the US and globally. We use Wharton and industry experts from various disciplines to address these issues.

  • HCMG890 - Advanced Study Project Seminar: Management of Health Care Service Businesses

    This course examines issues related to managing or investing in Health Care Services Businesses. Defined as companies that manage, distribute or provide health care services, the Health Care Services sector touches almost every other portion of the health care system. We will study the key management issues related to a numnber of different health care services businesses with a focus on common challenges related to reimbursement, regulatory, margin, growth, and competitive issues. We will make extensive use of outside speakers who will be current industry leaders within different sectors of the health care services industry and will address the current management issues they face in running their businesses. We will also hear from Private Equity professionals and people involved legislatively in Washington with health care services. Students will then be asked to develop a plan to both buyout and subsequently manage a specific health care services business. Students will present their plans to a panel of leading Health Care Private Equity investors. The prerequisite for this course is HCMG 841.

  • HCMG899 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.

  • MGMT782 - Strategic Implementation

    This course is directed toward the attainment of five interdependent objectives 1) to develop an understanding of strategy implementation in complex organizations; 2) to understand how organizational planning, design, control and human resource decisions are interdependent and critical to successful implementation; 3) to develop a sensitivity to the "realities" of strategy implementation in "real world" organizations; 4) to obtain a deeper understanding of your personal management style and how it may help or hinder strategy implementation; and 5) to become a better communicator and implementer of strategy. To meet these course objectives, the emphasis will be on learning powerful ideas about how to be systematic in strategy implementation efforts, making use of research about case problems, class discussions, in class exercises, and student presentations. Much of the learning will take place in group discussions outside the classroom in preparation for the time we meet in the classroom.