Skip Rosoff: LDI’s Health Law Guru
It was 1970 when Bob Eilers, LDI’s founding director, convinced his former student Arnold (Skip) Rosoff to join a Wharton team helping to draft President Richard Nixon’s proposal for national health insurance. Rosoff took the plunge, and so began an academic career at Wharton and a lifetime of service to LDI that continues to this day.
He combined a lawyer’s training, a business professor’s acumen, and a passion for health policy in 40+ years of teaching and research at Wharton and Penn Medicine. He wore many hats, including chair of Wharton's Department of Legal Studies, director of the Wharton Executive MBA Program (WEMBA) and director of the Wharton Government and Business Program. As a longtime member of LDI’s executive board, he offered his time, wise counsel, and good humor for decades.
His research and writing cover a broad range of issues at the intersection of law and health care, including the legal implications of evidence-based medicine and clinical practice guidelines; ethical issues in public health; patients’ rights and informed consent; comparative health systems; private and governmental financing of health care, and the issue that initially drew him to Penn, health care reform.
One early publication in the New England Journal of Medicine exemplifies Rosoff’s contribution to LDI and to the field of health services research. Written with the legendary John Eisenberg (his former MBA student, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and colleague), the article explored legal approaches to increase physicians' responsibility for the cost of unnecessary services. It foreshadows many of the current strategies to put providers at financial risk for the decisions they make.
Although he officially retired in 2013, Skip Rosoff continues to mentor Wharton students, and is one of the principal forces behind the “Business of Health Care,” a Wharton-led weekly radio show on Sirius XM. And each summer, he opens his shore home to LDI SUMR scholars for a day of fun, sun and camaraderie.