Can you please describe to us what you have been working on recently?
I am examining whether paying home health agencies more when they perform better on quality measures leads to desired outcomes. These incentives could lead to better quality (the goal) or they could create unintended consequences such as gaming by home health agencies. The biggest concern is that home health agencies may choose to avoid particularly disadvantaged patients, leading to increased health care disparities.
Who will you be collaborating with on this project?
I am collaborating with a great group of researchers from the Aging Studies Institute at SU, Upstate Medical University, and the University of Michigan. Together, this team brings together knowledge in economics, health services research, medicine, and qualitative research methods.
What is innovative about your research?
I hope that my research can inform better policymaking. To that end, my research focuses on not just main effects, but also potential effects on patient subgroups, especially medically complex and socially disadvantaged populations, and their caregivers. As an interdisciplinary researcher, I also value different perspectives and approaches, and I believe incorporating expertise from a variety of disciplines only improves the research.
What has been your role so far in developing research ideas and carrying them forward?
I have conducted research as the lead investigator, where I have proposed the ideas and implemented the study, sometimes by myself and sometimes with others. I have also acted as a co-investigator, where I contribute to the larger effort, but not necessarily leading the research. I have also helped others’ research by providing feedback and consultation on topics/areas that I am familiar with – in these efforts, I am not a co-author but act in a supporting role. In general, I enjoy working with others!
Have you utilized any new technology in your research and/or collaborations?
I have not yet used any new technology, but I hope to! One area that is not “new” per se, but new to Syracuse University, is the use of Medicare administrative data. Together with folks at ICT, we are preparing to receive large, multi-year, national files on the census of Medicare enrollees and their use of health care services.