Economist Uwe Reinhardt, a corporate director to a cross section of healthcare companies, was recently named as an adviser to a privately held healthcare information technology business.
Reinhardt, 69, an economics professor at Princeton University who is widely known in healthcare policy circles, was tapped by Philadelphia-based Hx Technologies to join its advisory board. The appointment is the latest of many that leave Reinhardt straddling the occasionally conflicting worlds of corporate interests and U.S. healthcare policy.
New Jersey officials in October put Reinhardt at the head of a commission to examine the state's hospital supply and oversight of public funds, one of many occasions in which he has been sought by public officials for counsel. He sits on the boards of the not-for-profit Duke University Health System, Durham, N.C., and Duke University.
He also serves as a paid director for Amerigroup Corp., a Medicaid managed-care plan; devicemaker Boston Scientific Corp.; investment funds H&Q Healthcare Investors and H&Q Life Sciences Investors; and Triad Hospitals, a for-profit hospital chain facing a $6.8 billion acquisition by Community Health Systems.
When New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine named Reinhardt as chairman of the Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources, the Princeton professor told Modern Healthcare his private-sector governance roles did not present a conflict-of-interest with his appointment.
"Obviously, being on the board of a hospital (company), I know something about hospital management," he said. But "I've never heard of any major for-profit hospitals thinking they are going to run hospitals in either New Jersey or New Yorkfor the reason that the margins are just crummy. There couldn't possibly be a conflict."
His board positions earned Reinhardt cash compensation of $261,750 in fiscal 2006, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. He also received stock awards valued at $293,950 and option awards with a combined value of $208,502, the filings show. Reinhardt, a Triad director since 1999, could see the value of his Triad equity-based compensation total at least $2.24 million if Community Health completes its buyout, not including the value of equity-based compensation earned by directors in 2007.
Reinhardt could not be reached for comment on his role as Hx Technologies' adviser, or what compensation, if any, he will receive for the work. Elliot Menschik, Hx Technologies' president and chief technology officer, declined to comment on whether advisory board members receive compensation.
Menschik said Reinhardt's grasp of healthcare delivery and economics and his experience made him well-suited for the company's advisory board.
Reinhardt is one of four Hx Technologies advisory board members, according to the company's Web site.
This story initially appeared in this week's edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.
What do you think? Write us with your comments at [email protected]. Please include your name, title and hometown.