Healthcare Policy & Research News

News Archive | Press Releases | Faculty Publications | State of Department Addresses, Department Letters/Reports

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When Pat and Bob nearly saved health care reform: A lesson in Senatorial bedside manner

With Senator John McCain’s heroic return and Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote on a health care bill July 25, Senate Republicans managed to cobble together 51 votes simply to agree to debate health care reform. This razor’s edge victory is diagnostic. Hyperpartisan debate is convulsive. It endangers the body politic and needs to give way to more tempered discussions across the aisle.
Just as doctors need to learn how to talk to patients, members of the Senate need to learn how to talk to each other again. And like young medical students, they can learn from those who have mastered the art.

Read more here.

A Few Comments On E-Cigarettes And Cigarette Smoking Among Adolescents And Young Adults

Underage smoking in pregnant teens are up as a result of minimum legal sale age laws restricting access to ecigarettes (Dr. Michael Pesko, Ph.D)
Read more here.

30 Students Complete Big Data Coursework for Computational Medicine at 2017 Weill Cornell Medicine Summer Training

Thirty students completed a joint Weill Cornell Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and University of Minnesota week-long Big Data Coursework for Computational Medicine (BDC4CM) funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). BDC4CM emphasized how to navigate the interface between research and practice by offering participants in-depth lectures, case studies and hands-on training from leading researchers in academia and industry.

Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important

More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of nonelderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled. People with disabilities are less likely to receive routine medical care, including cancer screening, flu vaccines and vision and dental exams. They have higher rates of unaddressed cardiovascular risk factors like obesity, smoking and hypertension. Compared with nondisabled adults on Medicare, disabled people on Medicare are more than twice as likely to forgo care because of the cost, and three times as likely to have difficulty finding a doctor who can accommodate their needs. Read more here

Dr. Yuhua Bao, MA, PhD, Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy & Research, on new analysis, finding opioid painkillers being prescribed far less in the U.S. than a few years ago.

Read more here

Dr. Fernando Martin-Sanchez, MS, PhD, professor of Health Informatics, awarded membership into the International Academy of Health Information Sciences.

Read more here.

Dr. Jessica S Ancker, MPH, PhD, associate professor of Healthcare Policy and Research, in the division of Health Informatics, publishes book addressing health literacy and patient decision making.

Read more here.

Dr. Rahul Sharma, Associate Director of the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership Program, blogs on the advantages of an MBA education as a healthcare leader

As healthcare continues to evolve and change, leaders must be equipped with a business skill set in order to be effective—an MBA can be invaluable. Read more here .

Drs. Art Sedrakyan and Jialin Mao publish high impact paper in JAMA Surgery on the use of open vascular surgery to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm and carotid stenosis.

With the invent of minimally invasive procedure, there has been a decrease in the use of open vascular surgery to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm and carotid stenosis. In the recent cohort study using hospital data from 2000 to 2014 in New York State, we found that the practice of very low-volume surgeons performing 1 or fewer open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and carotid endarterectomy has declined but continued to exist. Patients undergoing surgery performed by these surgeons had worse in-hospital outcomes as well as increased healthcare resource use. Our research calls for efforts to address this practice pattern to ensure high-quality care for all patients. Read full article here.

Mobilize the Healthcare Workforce? Challenge Accepted. Alexi Nazem, MD, MBA, combines background in medicine, business for substantial impact.

Read more here.

Dr. Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, Academic Director for the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership Program, blogs about 5 Business School Courses that help her in her healthcare career.

Read more here.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Dr. Jyoti Pathak was nominated to be a member of its Scientific Merit Review Board for a 4-year appointment.

As a member of the Board, Dr. Pathak will review research proposals administered locally by the VA field facilities across the U.S. and advise the Director, Health Services Research & Development Service, and the Chief Research and Development Officer on the scientific and technical merit, originality, feasibility, and mission relevance of each proposal. He will also advise on the adequacy of protection of human and animal subjects and proposed budgets.

Art Sedrakyan, M.D., Ph.D. receives substantial funding from the US Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, to lead the creation of a novel strategically Coordinated Registry Network (CRN) for women's health technologies.

Dr. Sedrakyan will collaborate with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine to facilitate the CRN creation in partnership with early stage registries developed by professional societies. The project will address the safety and effectiveness of health technologies used to advance women's health. An important component of this project will be the linkages of registries with claims data (e.g. Medicare), available state data and PCORNet clinical data networks when appropriate. The CRN will facilitate advancement of current registry infrastructure through development of structured data capture (SDC) and will aim to enrich both registry and linkable data infrastructure for devices/interventions used to treat or manage women's health conditions. This pilot project will serve as infrastructure for evaluation of medical devices and reduction of complexity and some costs of conducting comparative effectiveness research.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: BIG DATA COURSEWORK FOR COMPUTATIONAL MEDICINE 2017 SUMMER TRAINING AT WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE IN NEW YORK CITY

Funded by the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative (NIH R25 EB201381), Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of Minnesota, and Johns Hopkins University is jointly offering a "Big Data Coursework for Computational Medicine (BDC4CM)" research education program between July 10 - 13, 2017 in New York City.


BDC4CM will emphasize how to navigate the interface between research and clinical practice by offering participants in-depth lectures, case studies and hands-on training from leading big data researchers. Also, new for 2017, we will organize a datathon to solve a real-world health data-driven problem. Topics covered will include data and knowledge representation standards; information extraction and natural language processing; visualization analytics; data mining and predictive modeling; privacy and ethics and mHealth and participatory medicine. Trainees will survey the most relevant research domains for big data in healthcare, interact with distinguished scholars and world-renowned experts from academia, and receive information concerning careers and opportunities in the field.


Those eligible to apply include faculty, scientists, post-doc fellows and researchers with a PhD, MD/PhD or equivalent in computer science, biomedical informatics, bioinformatics, statistics, health information technology or a related degree, and graduate students currently enrolled in a PhD, MD/PhD or equivalent program in computer science, biomedical informatics, bioinformatics, statistics, health information technology or a related degree.


A travel stipend will be provided to those trainees traveling from outside of New York City. For additional information about the program and to apply, please visit: http://bdc4cm.org.

The deadline for application submission is March 31, 2017.

Ethics of Evidence Foundation established by Dr. Valerie Miké

Valerie Miké, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Biostatistics, has been studying ethical and value issues pertaining to uncertainty in biomedical science and technology, with emphasis on the role of statistical evidence in technology diffusion, medical decision-making, and the development of healthcare policy. She introduced the notion of an “ethics of evidence,” a multidisciplinary approach addressed to all of society. Her ideas have become formalized in the Ethics of Evidence Foundation, Inc., approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. Its mission is to carry on Dr. Miké’s work and that of some other scholars in related fields. Dr. Miké is now engaged in preparing a series of manuscripts for publication by the new Foundation.

Art Sedrakyan, M.D., Ph.D., publishes high-impact paper on colon and rectal surgery in JAMA Surgery.

"Our study indicates that colonic stents improve the efficiency of care and quality of life of many terminally ill patients. There is a need to further advance this beneficial technology so that it can be more applicable to wider group of patients with colorectal cancer" Read the full article

Dr. Stephen Johnson elected chair of AMIA's Academic Forum

Dr. Stephen Johnson was recently elected chair of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)'s Academic Forum. The Forum is a consortium of 60+ universities, with a focus on informatics education.


AMIA's Academic Forum focuses on a range of issues important to faculty such as management, promotion criteria, recruitment, models of success in building informatics programs, salary scales, advocacy within academic environments, and more.

Fei Wang, Ph.D., named runner-up for best research paper award at ICDM 2016

Dr. Wang's paper, "Model Accuracy and Runtime Tradeoff in Distributed Deep Learning: A Systematic Study," will receive runner-up for best research paper at the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) 2016, which will be held in Barcelona, Spain from Dec. 12 to Dec. 15. This year, the acceptance rate for regular papers is just 8.5%


The paper is in collaboration with the researchers in IBM T.J. Watson Research, where they presented Rudra, a parameter server-based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. They also did a systematic study on the model accuracy and runtime tradeoff with Rudra. Deep learning is also a strategy that could be very helpful for health informatics research problems such as predictive modeling. Dr. Wang's study will be crucial to understanding the behavior of deep learning and how to apply them in a correct way.

Jessica Ancker, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACMI, wins best paper award at the AMIA Annual Symposium

Dr. Ancker has received the prestigious Homer R. Warner Award from the American Medical Informatics Association. Her paper, which was written in collaboration with the Institute for Family Health and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was a retrospective cohort study examining patient use of an online medical encyclopedia linked to a personal health record.


The Home R. Warner Award is an influential award in the field of medical informatics. It is given to the author of the paper that best describes approaches to improving computerized information acquisition, knowledge data acquisition and management, and experimental results documenting the value of these approaches.


Her research found that patients in traditionally disadvantaged groups — specifically racial minorities and Medicaid patients — were actually more likely to use this online medical encyclopedia than other patients.


Dr. Ancker's paper, "Expanding access to high-quality plain-language patient education information through context-specific hyperlinks," suggests that the encyclopedia is potentially being used by lower literacy patients to supplement their understanding of their medical records. Elizabeth Mauer, one of Healthcare Policy & Research's research biostatisticians, is second author.

Dr. Ancker inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics

Congratulations to Dr. Ancker for her appointment as a 2016 American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) Fellow! The ACMI is a college of elected fellows who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of biomedical informatics. Learn more about Dr. Ancker's research and education contributions at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., publishes research on shale gas development and cancer indicence

More study is necessary to focus on the potential for harm to human health from unconventional shale gas development. To what extent does unconventional gas development lead to an increase in cancer incidence in heavily drilled Southwest Pennsylvania? Learn more and download the article

Art Sedrakyan, M.D., Ph.D., publishes high-impact paper in The Lancet, discusses the importance of surgical registries

From The Lancet: "Rigorous registries are clearly vital for the transparent, long-term study of all new innovations but Sedraykan and colleagues go further, suggesting that almost all surgical patients should be entered into registries. Major national all-inclusive registries provide high-quality feedback to surgeons on their own outcomes, and have a proven role in facilitating the improvement they suggest." Read the paper

Fei Wang, Ph.D. Wins Best Short Paper at IEEE

Dr. Fei Wang's paper "Predicting Seizures from Electroencephalography Recordings: A Knowledge Transfer Strategy" won the best short paper award at 2016 IEEE International Conference on Health Informatics (ICHI) which was just held in Chicago. This paper proposed a knowledge transfer strategy to build convolutional neural network model to predict seizures for epilepsy patients according to their electroencephalography recordings. The paper is a collaboration with Tsinghua University, and Dr. Wang is the senior author.

Dr. Jung, Dr. Unruh Receive Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The project team is exploring how the Medicaid primary care fee bump affected the health and costs for beneficiaries with chronic conditions who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. The investigators are evaluating whether higher reimbursements to providers for primary care services led to better care and lower overall health care costs for this patient population. The results of the study will provide evidence about whether higher reimbursements to primary care providers are likely to make health care for dual-eligibles more equitable compared to the broader Medicare population.

Wall Street Journal Cites Dr. Yuhua Bao's Research

"Use of state databases in 24 states was associated with a 30% drop in the prescribing rate for opioids such as OxyContin between 2001 and 2010, according to a study by Yuhua Bao, a health-care policy and research expert at Weill Cornell Medicine, published in June in the journal Health Affairs."

Read the full article on the Washington Post

In Business Insider article, Dr. Ancker discusses what's working — and what's not — in the effort to revolutionize patient record-keeping

"[...] systems that were just set up to handle bills suddenly had to be retrofitted to track patients so that doctors could use them during appointments. And it all had to check out under the new regulation.

"A lot of companies had to do compliance, so innovation got slowed down," said Jessica S. Ancker, a professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Read the full article on Business Insider

Dr. Yiye Zhang Joins Weill Cornell Medicine

Yiye Zhang, Ph.D., has joined the Division of Health Informatics in Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research focuses on algorithm creation for data-driven decision support in healthcare delivery and management. Dr. Zhang's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters.

Dr. Wang Receives Grant from NSF Smart and Connected Health Program

Fei Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of healthcare policy & research at Weill Cornell Medicine, has received a grant from NSF Smart and Connected Health Program titled EAGER: Patient Similarity Learning with Massive Clinical Data and Its Applications in Cohort Identification.

A critical step to make sure that opportunities exist for conducting large-scale precision medicine research, researchers must ensure that cohorts are identified by defining including and exclusion criteria that algorithmically select sets of patients. Most existing research has criteria for generating those patient cohorts and defining them manually. Of course, this method makes the entire process slow, labor intensive, and unscalable.

Dr. Wang's project will develop patient similarity learning algorithms from various kinds of patient related data such as EHR, pharmaceutical R&D and genomic information, to enable automatic cohort identification, which will accelerate the research of precision medicine.

30 Students Complete 2016 BDC4CM Fellowship

Thirty students completed a joint Weill Cornell Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and University of Minnesota week-long Big Data Coursework for Computational Medicine (BDC4CM) funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). BDC4CM emphasized how to navigate the interface between research and practice by offering participants in-depth lectures, case studies and hands-on training from leading researchers in academia and industry.

Students Receive Awards

The Elise Strang L'Esperance Prize in Public Health is awarded to a graduating female student who best reflects the attributes and values of Dr. L'Esperance, who served on the faculty of the Weill Cornell Medical College for over forty years. The winners among this year's graduating class are Josephine Cool and Stephanie Gold, who will split the Elise Strang L'Espercance Prize in Public Health.

The George G. Reader Prize in Public Health was endowed in 1992 by friends and colleagues of Dr. George G. Reader '43, who served as chairman of the Department of Public Health from 1972 to 1992. A cash prize is given to the graduating student who, in the judgment of the Department's faculty, shows the most promise in the field of public health. This year's George G. Reader Prize in Public Health is being shared by Daniel Kornberg and James Wang.

Dr. Fei Wang Joins Weill Cornell Medicine

Fei Wang, Ph.D., has joined the Division of Health Informatics in Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. Before arriving at WCM, Dr. Wang was a research staff member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He received a Ph.D. from Tsinghua University in China. Dr. Wang has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier biomedical informatics journals and IEEE/ACM proceedings. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, and has served as a referee to over 20 different journals and conferences.

Madelon Finkel, Ph.D.Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H.

Drs. Finkel, Hupert Selected to Receive Excellence in Teaching Award

Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., and Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H., have been selected to receive Excellence in Teaching Awards. This award is given by Weill Cornell Medical College on behalf of their outstanding efforts to the College. The College-wide award selection process includes the input of students through course evaluation forms, as well as course director comments.

Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Grinspan Awarded Grant to Study Epilepsy

Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S., has been awarded a grant from the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation. His study, called "Comparative Effectiveness Research for Infantile Spasms," will study a devastating epilepsy of infancy that can cause permanent neurodevelopment disability. Dr. Grinspan's project will compare the three recommended treatments — ACTH, oral steroids, and vigabatrin — for infantile spasms using several large datasets. The grant is a four-center collaboration with national leaders in pediatric epilepsy research, including Dr. Anup Patel (Nationwide Children's Hospital, Dr. Kelly Knupp (Children's Hospital Colorado), and Dr. Ren&aecute;e Shellhaas (Mott's Children's Hospital).

Elena Elkin, Ph.D.

Dr. Elkin Selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Program

Elena Elkin, Ph.D. has been selected as one of eight health professionals for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Program at the National Academy of Medicine. Beginning in September 2016, these eight professionals will spend a year in Washington, D.C. to work on healh-related legislative and regulatory issues with members of Congress. Learn more

Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Grinspan Helps Lead Effort to Design Specifications for Device to Improve Care for Critically Ill Children

Dr. Zachary Grinspan (Healthcare Policy and Research) and Dr. Barry Kosofsky (Pediatrics) lead an international, multidisciplinary effort to design specifications for a pediatric neurology intensive care bedside multimodal monitor. Such a device would improve care for critically ill children with devastating neurological diseases, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, or unremitting seizures (status epilepticus). They worked closely with several colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine and Technion Israel Institute of Technology, including experts in epilepsy, pediatric neurology, pediatric critical care, neurology intensive care, signal processing, human factors, and visualization. Their work appears in Applied Clinical Informatics.

Michael pesko, Ph.D.

Dr. Pesko Awarded $750k Grant from American Cancer Society

Michael Pesko, Ph.D., has been awarded a 4-year, $750,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to evaluate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect tobacco users. These provisions include expanding access to smoking cessation products and cancer screenings, permitting tobacco rating in the individual and small group health insurance marketplaces, and expanding Medicaid programs in select states. This four-year grant will evaluate the effects of these provisions on high-risk tobacco users' insurance coverage, tobacco use, tobacco cessation product use, cancer screenings, professional consultations regarding tobacco use, and exposure to carcinogens.

Cigarette smoking is directly linked with cancer, and scientists say that it accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. This grant from the American Cancer Society will help provide new, timely evidence on the impact of these provisions.

Dr. Pesko is an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. He uses health economics and econometrics frameworks to evaluate policies affecting healthcare delivery, health insurance, and substance use.

Michael pesko, Ph.D.

Dr. Pesko Awarded Pilot Grant Funding From Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV

Michael Pesko, PhD, received a 1-year pilot grant award from the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH). Using econometric techniques, Dr. Pesko will examine data from the National Center for Health Statistics to explore the impact of e-cigarette and marijuana policies on cigarette use and birth outcomes. The study will provide evidence of whether e-cigarettes, marijuana, and cigarettes have differential risks to pregnant women. Dr. Pesko is an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. Trained as a health economist, Dr. Pesko's research focuses on evaluating health policy changes and their effect on health outcomes. Read more!

Stephen Johnson, Ph.D.

Dr. Johnson Named Chair of the Health Informatics Accreditation Council of CAHIIM

Stephen Johnson, Ph.D., was named chair of the Health Informatics Accreditation Council of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM strives to provide the public with effective and consistent quality monitoring of health informatics and health information management (HIM) programs through maintenance of accreditation processes.

Fernando Martín-Sánchez, Ph.D., FACMI

New Faculty Recruited in Health Informatics

Fernando Martín-Sánchez, Ph.D., FACMI, has joined the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research's Division of Health Informatics. Dr. Martín-Sánchez comes to us as former chair and professor of Health Informatics at the University of Melbourne's Medical School. He is a biomedical informatics scientist with a career developed across the United States, Spain, and Australia. His research focuses on informatics methods in eHealth, participatory health, precision medicine, and translational research.

Alvin Mushlin, M.D., Sc.M.

Dr. Alvin Mushlin Selected to Receive the 2015 SMDM Career Achievement Award

Alvin Mushlin, M.D., Sc.M., the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health in the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2015 Career Achievement Award from the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM).

Jyotishman Pathak, Ph.D.

Jyotishman Pathak, Ph.D., Named Chief of Health Informatics

Dr. Pathak plans to increase the size and scope of the Division of Health Informatics, which is dedicated to understanding how the explosion of biomedical big data affects healthcare delivery. He will lead efforts to expand the division's research and educational activities. Dr. Pathak also plans to foster and strengthen collaborations between health informatics researchers and clinician-investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Cornell Tech, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Can big data help us close an epilepsy care gap?

Epilepsy has been termed an "ambulatory care sensitive condition," meaning that high-quality outpatient epilepsy care can reduce unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Using this framework, high ED use is a marker of poor disease control or limited access to care. Do all people with epilepsy with poorly controlled disease or limited access frequent the ED? Are other factors at play? Read the article and accompanying editorial.

Jessica Ancker, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Jessica Ancker Discusses the Decline of Privacy Concerns as Patients Acclimate to Electronic Health Records

"Electronic health records, which were adopted really quickly and are now used in more than 96 percent of doctor's offices, have made a huge difference in the way that medical care is delivered. This study shows us that patients have noticed this change and have become more comfortable with the technology," said lead investigator Dr. Jessica Ancker, an associate professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Dr. Zachary Grinspan Receives CDC Grant to Study Rare Epilepsies

Rare epilepsies are a devastating group of diseases that begin in childhood, and are often associated with profound neurologic, medical, and psychiatric disabilities. Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S., is leading a team that has been approved for a $900,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Members of The Fountain House Are Less Likely to Need E.R., says Dr. Zachary Grinspan

Dr. Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S. completed a study showing how members at the Fountain House in New York City, a clubhouse dedicated to the recovery of individuals with mental illness, are less likely to be admitted to the emergency department than non-members.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Dr. Finkel Welcomes University of Havana's Dr. Alonso

Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education, welcomed Isel Pascual Alonso, Ph.D. from the University of Havana on Tuesday, September 8. Dr. Alonso's visit was a follow-up to Dr. Finkel's visit to Cuba in June. Discussion focused on having Weill Cornell students spend time in Havana working in Dr. Alonso's lab. Dr. Finkel previously set up a clinical elective for fourth-year students to spend six weeks at a major teaching hospital in Havana.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Dr. Finkel Teaches Course on Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Veterinary Residents

Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education, and Galina Hayes, BVSc, MRCVS, Ph.D., a faculty surgeon and epidemiologist at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, are jointly teaching a course in epidemiology and biostatistics for interested veterinary residents. The six-hour course presents the fundamentals of each discipline with the aim of preparing the residents to conduct high-quality research.

"You Get Reminded You're a Sick Person"

An article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research by Dr. Jessica Ancker and colleagues explores personal data tracking and patients with multiple chronic conditions.

Research on health effects of fracking faces multiple challenges

"For the most part, they're not allowed to talk about any ill effects to themselves, to their water, to their land, even to their animals," says Dr. Madelon Finkel, an epidemiologist at Weill Cornell, to Reuters Health. "That in a sense is hampering the ability to do good research.""

Bruce Schackman, PhD

Center for Health Economics of Treatment for Substance Users Is Established at Weill Cornell Medical College

Sorting out the complex economics of treating substance use disorder is the goal of a new center funded by a $5.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Led by Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, the cross-institutional Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV ("CHERISH") will serve as a national resource for substance use health economics research by developing and disseminating economic evidence that informs substance use treatment policy and hepatitis C and HIV care for substance users.

New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN)

NYC-CDRN Approved for $8.5 Million in Phase II of PCORnet, a New National Clinical Research Network

The New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN) has been approved for a three-year, $8.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as part of the second phase of the development of the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet). Learn more about this funding award and the NYC-CDRN

Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad

Latest Therapies to Address the Historical Spread of Hepatitis C in the Middle East Discussed at WCMC-Q Grand Rounds

Laith Abu-Raddad, Ph.D., associate professor of public health at WCMC-Q, described the historical spread of hepatitis C in the Middle East and North Africa and discussed the latest therapies and public health efforts aimed at controlling the debilitating virus.

Dr. Karla Ballman, Ph.D.

Department of Healthcare Policy & Research Names Dr. Karla Ballman Chief of Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology

The Department of Healthcare Policy and Research is excited to announce that Dr. Karla Ballman will join the Department as chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Dr. Ballman, who is currently a tenured professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic, will join Weill Cornell Medical College on Wednesday, July 15.

"We are so pleased to have Dr. Ballman joining us. She is a talented biostatistician and effective leader," said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research and the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell, and healthcare policy and research physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "In her new role, Dr. Ballman will serve as an integral part of our multidisciplinary department. She'll bring her expertise to bear on specific research projects as well as on recruitment of new biostatisticians, and we couldn't be happier to have her on board."

Ashley Giambrone, Ph.d., M.S.

Dr. Ashley Giambrone Promoted to Assistant Professor

Ashley Giambrone, Ph.d., M.S. has been promoted to Assistant Professor of Research in Healthcare Policy and Research. While Postdoctoral Associate in Biostatistics at Weill Cornell Medical College, Ms. Giambrone worked closely with the Department of Radiology to provide statistical consultation for various research efforts. She will continue these efforts in study design, diagnostic accuracy studies, phase 1 clinical trials, and more in her new role.

Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Explains Higher Education's Need for Change in Washington Post Editorial

"We recognized the crucial need for new training programs after hearing from hospital CEOs about the scarcity of leaders with background in health-care policy, particularly given the explosion of data and evidence," says Dr. Kaushal. "The formula proposed here is basic: as health-care changes, so must medical and other professional health education.".

Dr. Hye-Young Jung

Healthcare Policy and Research Professor's Abstract Selected as Best in the Medicare Category

Dr. Hye-Young Jung's abstract, "Physician Participation in Meaningful Use and Rehospitalization of the Dually-Eligible," was selected as the best abstract in the Medicare category at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Minneapolis, June 14-16. AcademyHealth selected less than 1% of the over 2,600 abstracts they received for best among 18 categories.

Dr. Laith J. Abu-Raddad

Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad Appointed Assistant Dean of Extramural Research Funding

Laith Abu-Raddad, Ph.D., associate professor of healthcare policy and research, has been appointed assistant dean of extramural research funding at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. In this new administrative appointment, which takes effect on July 1, Dr. Abu-Raddad will provide leadership and support by managing the relationship with the Qatar National Research Fund, reviewing policy and new programs, and providing internal implementation and oversight. Learn more about Dr. Abu-Raddad's appointment and current work.

Dr. Hye-Young Jung

Study of Physician Participation in Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs Signals Need for Further EHR Healthcare Policy Maintenance

"Those physicians who adopted the [Electronic Health Record incentive] program may provide higher quality care to their patients [than physicians who don't adopt the program]," said lead author Dr. Hye-Young Jung, an assistant professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell. "This difference may create a digital divide."

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Dr. Zachary Grinspan Named Laitman Scholar

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS, has been named the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Community Health.

Paul Christos, DrPH, MS

Dr. Paul Christos is Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Paul J. Christos, DrPH, MS, who has been promoted to Associate Research Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhE

Physician Networks Important in the Rate of Preventable Hospital Admissions

A study published in Medical Care by Dr. Lawrence Casalino and colleagues shows a significant variation among physician networks in their rates of preventable hospital admissions.

Hassan Ghomrawi, PhD

Study Compares Partial Knee Replacement to Total Knee Replacement

A study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery led by Dr. Hassan Ghomrawi shows that partial knee replacement may be more cost-effective than total knee replacement, especially in older patients.

The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

Dr. Madelon Finkel's New Book Examines the Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

Dr. Madelon Finkel's latest book, The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World, has been published by Praeger Press. The book is covered in Weill Cornell Medicine.

Bruce Schackman, PhD

New Study Shows the Substantial Value of Preventing HIV Infection in the United States

A study led by Dr. Bruce Schackman, published in Medical Care, finds a savings of $229,800 to $338,400 for each high-risk person prevented from contracting HIV.

Understanding the Syndrome of Frailty in the Elderly

As the 13th annual Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professor of Healthcare Policy, Dr. Linda Fried presented the keynote lecture at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium.

Article by Department Faculty Named "Editor's Choice"

An article in JAMIA by Dr. Jessica Ancker and colleagues showing variation in physician use of EHRs was named an "Editor's Choice" article by the journal.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Sex Trafficking: The Dirty Downside of Global Sporting Events

Drs. Madelon and Rebecca Finkel publish a study in the journal Public Health about the importance of bringing to light the problem of sex trafficking at sporting events.

Joshua Vest, PhD

Study Shows Health Information Exchange Reduces Repeat Imaging Tests

Dr. Joshua Vest and colleagues, in an article in Am J Manag Care, demonstate the value of health information exchange in reducing the number of unneccessary repeated imaging tests.

Yuhua Bao, PhD

Study Suggests Drug Coverage Alone Not an Easy Solution to Closing Treatment Gap in Depression

Dr. Yuhua Bao and colleagues examine the implications of a recent ruling on Medicare coverage for antidepressants in JAMA Psychiatry.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Using Multiple Hospitals May Be Problematic for Patients with Epilepsy

A study in Epilepsia led by Dr. Zachary Grinspan examines how healthcare fragmentation affects patients with epilepsy.

Paul Christos, DrPH, MS

Diabetes Prevention in Qatar Should Focus on Lifestyle Factors

A study in Qatar Medical Journal by Drs. Paul Christos, Alvin Mushlin, Laith Abu-Raddad, and others, looks at the risk factors for diabetes in Qatar, which has a high rate of the disease.

Bruce Schackman, PhD

Dr. Bruce Schackman Is Appointed the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health

Dr. Bruce Schackman has been appointed the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, effective January 1, 2015.

WCMC seal

Department of Healthcare Policy and Research Adds Two New Educational Programs

The Master of Science in Health Policy and Economics and the Certificate Program in Health Analytics have been accredited and are accepting students for the Fall 2015 class.

 

WCMC seal

Recent Department Faculty Speaking and Panel Engagements

Department faculty gave keynote addresses, organized conferences, and participated in expert panels from October to December 2014.

 

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan, Kaiser Permanente, and Colleagues Publish Results of Unprecedented Collaboration

Research sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demonstrates the importance of tracking medical devices’ effectiveness and safety.

Nathaniel Hupert, Toshiba alliance

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert and Other Cornell Faculty Enter Research Alliance with Toshiba Corporation

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert is the Principal Investigator of a research project to determine the electrical power requirements of the modern research-based academic health care center.

Sentinel Initiative, WCMC

Drs. Rainu Kaushal and Alvin Mushlin are Site PIs for
FDA’s Sentinel Contract

Weill Cornell is partnering on this important undertaking, which will use electronic healthcare data to establish the capability for post-marketing surveillance.

Linda Gerber, PhD

Study Finds High Use of Complementary Medicines Among Women in Qatar

Dr. Linda Gerber, Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, and colleagues found that many midlife Arabic women living in Qatar use complementary and alternative medicine.

Dr. Jessica Ancker Is Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Jessica Ancker, MPH, PhD, who has been promoted to Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research.

 

On January 1, 2015, she also became Chair of the Evaluation Working Group of the American Medial Informatics Association (AMIA).

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Is Invited to Write Two High-Profile Editorials

Dr. Lawrence Casalino is the author of two recent invited editorials about Accountable Care Organizations, in The New England Journal of Medicine and in Health Services Research.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Is Designated a "Highly Cited Researcher" by Thomson Reuters

Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, has been designated one of the “Highly Cited Researchers 2014,” by Thomson Reuters and has been listed in the publication, “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014.”

WCMC seal

Department of Healthcare Policy and Research Papers Cited in Informatics Year in Review

Two papers by faculty and staff members of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research are cited in the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium 2014 Year in Review.

 

Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Is Elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics

Dr. Kaushal has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI).

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Stein Named Cornell Tech Clinical Informaticist In Residence

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD, has been named the Clinical Informaticist In Residence for the Cornell Tech Campus effective December 1, 2014.

Stephen Johnson, PhD

Dr. Stephen Johnson Appointed to Accreditation Council for Health Informatics

Dr. Stephen Johnson was appointed to serve on the Accreditation Council for Health Informatics under the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM

A Simple Tool to Facilitate Shared Decision-Making about Prostate Cancer Screening

In Annals of Internal Medicine, Drs. Alvin Mushlin, Andrew Vickers, and their colleagues present a simple schema for primary care physicians to help their patients decide if PSA testing is right for them.

Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH

New Tool Helps Front-line Ebola Treatment Units Function in West Africa

Drs. Nathaniel Hupert and Lewis Rubinson have created a new spreadsheet tool for facilitating daily patient care and data collection in Ebola Treatment Units, responding to the 2014 Western Africa Ebola outbreak.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Is Minimally Invasive Lobectomy as Good as the Open Procedure?

A study in BMJ supervised by Dr. Art Sedrakyan found a similar rate of long-term survival in patients undergoing open vs. minimally invasive lobectomy for lung cancer.

Dr. Michael Pesko Receives First Decade Award from Hamline University

Michael Pesko, PhD, was recognized with the First Decade Award for his extraordinary work within ten years of graduating from Hamline University.

Weill Cornell-Led Consortium Wins $7 Million to Develop
New York Patient Data Network

Dr. Rainu Kaushal is leading a consortium to build a city-wide research data infrastructure to improve clinical decision-making. An article about the project appears in JAMIA and other news media.

Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Chosen for Fellowship at Prestigious Executive Leadership Program

Dr. Kaushal has been selected to be a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Zhengming Chen, PhD

Dr. Zhengming Chen Awarded Patent

Dr. Zhengming Chen was awarded a patent for his method of treating artery obstructive disease and stenosis after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Recent Grants Awarded to Department Faculty and Staff

Drs. Yuhua Bao, Zachary Grinspan, Michael Pesko, Tara Bishop, Zhengming Chen, and Stephen Lyman are among those recently awarded grants from the NIH, private foundations, and Cornell University.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan Awarded for Tenure as Vice-Chair of MEDCAC

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD, received an award from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for his successful tenure as the Vice-Chair of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee.

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Stein Selected for LAMP Program

Dr. Daniel Stein was selected for the 2014-2015 Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP), a year-long faculty development program for junior faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Research Challenges Safety and Efficacy of Newer Hip and Knee Implants

Five newer and widely used types of hip and knee implants offer no improvement over older versions and might even require more revisions, according to a study in BMJ led by Dr. Art Sedrakyan.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Registries Vital in Tracking Medical Devices

Three prominent health organizations, including the Medical Device Epidemiological Network Science Infrastructure Center led by Dr. Art Sedrakyan, have made wide-ranging recommendations on the development of of national medical device registries.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Study Reveals Surprising Benefits of Smaller Physician Practices

In a Health Affairs study led by Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, smaller physician practices had lower rates of avoidable hospital admissions than did their larger counterparts. Also read the Health Affairs blog.

Stephen Johnson, PhD

Dr. Stephen Johnson Invited to Serve on Fellowship Nominations Committee

Dr. Stephen Johnson was invited to serve on the Fellowship Nominations Committee for the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI).

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan Co-Organizes Forum Session

Dr. Art Sedrakyan co-organized an educational session at the International Medical Device Regulatory Forum (IMDFR). The IMDFR is a forum to discuss future directions in medical device regulatory harmonization.

Dr. Matthew Press Appointed Senior Advisor in CMS

Matthew J. Press, MD, MSc, was appointed for a two-year term as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The position began mid-August, 2014.

Dr. Jessica Ancker Publishes and Presents on Electronic Health Record Use

Jessica Ancker, MPH, PhD, led several recent studies and made a number of presentations on aspects of electronic health record use. The studies were covered in a Weill Cornell news article.

The Doctor as Quarterback

Writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Matthew Press stresses the need for teamwork among clinicians to effectively and safely care for patients. He was also featured in a New York Times article about a new policy for Medicare to pay doctors who coordinate care.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

EMCO Can Be Used in Public Health Emergencies

A comment in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine by Drs. Subroto Paul, Bruce Campbell, Ellen Meltzer, and Art Sedrakyan discusses the potential use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome resulting from natural hazards or acts of terrorism.

How Valuable is Value-Based Payment?

In a recent Opinion piece in Annals of Internal Medicine, Drs. Andrew Ryan and Matthew Press discuss the implementation challenges of one of the incentive programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH

CHEST Releases Guide to Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert was part of task force that has released a consensus statement on the care of the critically ill and injured during pandemics and disasters

Study Supports Analyzing Cost Variations at the Hospital Level

A recent study in Healthcare by Dr. William Borden, Dr. Alvin Mushlin, and colleagues supports the use of hospital costs to examine the reasons for regional variation in healthcare spending.

Laith Abu-Raddad, Ghina Mumtaz

Emerging HIV Epidemics Among People Who Inject Drugs in the Middle East and North Africa

Ghina Mumtaz, Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad, and others publish a study in PLoS Medicine revealing patterns in recent HIV epidemics among injection drug users in the region.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Dr. Madelon Finkel Is Author of Recent Articles on Shale Gas Extraction

Madelon Finkel, PhD, is the senior author of two recent articles on shale gas drilling.

Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM

Dr. Alvin Mushlin Chairs PCORI Advisory Panel

Alvin Mushlin, MD, ScM, chaired a recent Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Gives Invited Talk in Oslo, Norway

Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, gave an invited talk titled “Physician Satisfaction: Should Anyone Care?” at the Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession in Oslo, Norway, on June 2, 2014.

Bruce Schackman, PhD

Dr. Bruce Schackman Chairs Workshop at European Society for Medical Decision Making Meeting

Bruce Schackman, PhD, chaired a workshop entitled “Methodological issues in economic evaluation of medical treatments for chronic diseases with societal outcomes: the case of alcohol and substance abuse” at the European Society for Medical Decision Making meeting in Antwerp June 8-10, 2014.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Dr. Madelon Finkel is Invited Lecturer at Hamad Hospital

Madelon Finkel, PhD, Director of the Office of Global Health Education, was an invited lecturer at Hamad Hospital in Doha, Qatar, where she participated in the Clinical and Translational Research Training Course that took place from April 6 to May 5, 2014.

Dr. Thomas Campion Presents NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds

Thomas Campion, PhD, gave NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds on June 6, 2014, on "Interoperable Architecture for PCORnet: New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN)." His talk described the PCORI-funded effort, led by Dr. Rainu Kaushal and the Weill Cornell Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, to aggregate electronic health record data from the city's academic health centers and other partners.

Dr. Tara Bishop Receives 2014 Weill Cornell Leadership Fellowship

Tara Bishop, MD, MPH, has been selected for the third cohort of the Weill-Cornell Leadership Fellows. This program, co-directed by Drs. Lawrence Casalino and Michael Wolk, seeks to identify and foster the development of Weill Cornell's "Leaders of Tomorrow."

Study Finds Coordinated Approach Improves Quality of Primary Care

A study in Annals of Internal Medicine by Dr. Lisa Kern, Ms. Alison Edwards, and Dr. Rainu Kaushal shows modest improvement in care quality among physicians participating in patient-centered medical homes. Read press releases from WCMC and The Commonwealth Fund.

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Featured in AP Article on SHIN-NY

Dr. Rainu Kaushal discusses studies she led on the State Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which was shown to reduce redundant tests and unneeded hospital admissions.

Smokers Find Ways to Pay Less for Cigarettes

In an article in Preventive Medicine, Dr. Michael Pesko gives policy suggestions for making cigarette price minimization more difficult.

Department Faculty and Students Honored for Excellence

Drs. Erika Abramson, Ziyad Mahfoud, and Laith Abu-Raddad received Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2014, and three medical students received Public Health prizes. Read more about the teaching and student awards.

First Class of Students Graduate from Master of Science Program in Health Informatics

The first class of students in the Master of Science Program in Health Informatics graduated May 29, 2014, from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Health Care Reform: An Opportunity for Hospitals to Lead

A commentary in Annals of Internal Medicine by Drs. Andrew Ryan and Alvin Mushlin asserts that hospitals will maintain their prominent role in American medicine and remain economically viable, despite health care reform initiatives.
Read news release and interview in InformationWeek.

Improving Population Health One Person at a Time?

Douglas Noble, MD, MPH, and Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, explore the perception of the phrase "population health" in accountable care organizations in an article in BMJ.

Robotic Lobectomy Found Riskier and More Expensive Than Thoracoscopic Lobectomy in Early Years After Adoption

An analysis by Drs. Subroto Paul, Art Sedrakyan, and others reveals that robotic-assisted lobectomy is associated with more bleeding than thoracoscopic lobectomy, and costs more.

Do Providers' Prior Attitudes Affect EHR Meaningful Use?

Tara Bishop, MD, MPH, Andrew Ryan, PhD, Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a study in Healthcare exploring the relationship between meaningful use of the EHR and providers' prior attitudes about EHRs.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Dr. Zachary Grinspan Named Laitman Scholar

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS, has been named the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Community Health.

Paul Christos, DrPH, MS

Dr. Paul Christos is Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Paul J. Christos, DrPH, MS, who has been promoted to Associate Research Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhE

Physician Networks Important in the Rate of Preventable Hospital Admissions

A study published in Medical Care by Dr. Lawrence Casalino and colleagues shows a significant variation among physician networks in their rates of preventable hospital admissions.

Hassan Ghomrawi, PhD

Study Compares Partial Knee Replacement to Total Knee Replacement

A study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery led by Dr. Hassan Ghomrawi shows that partial knee replacement may be more cost-effective than total knee replacement, especially in older patients.

The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

Dr. Madelon Finkel's New Book Examines the Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

Dr. Madelon Finkel's latest book, The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World, has been published by Praeger Press. The book is covered in Weill Cornell Medicine.

Bruce Schackman, PhD

New Study Shows the Substantial Value of Preventing HIV Infection in the United States

A study led by Dr. Bruce Schackman, published in Medical Care, finds a savings of $229,800 to $338,400 for each high-risk person prevented from contracting HIV.

Understanding the Syndrome of Frailty in the Elderly

As the 13th annual Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professor of Healthcare Policy, Dr. Linda Fried presented the keynote lecture at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium.

Article by Department Faculty Named "Editor's Choice"

An article in JAMIA by Dr. Jessica Ancker and colleagues showing variation in physician use of EHRs was named an "Editor's Choice" article by the journal.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Sex Trafficking: The Dirty Downside of Global Sporting Events

Drs. Madelon and Rebecca Finkel publish a study in the journal Public Health about the importance of bringing to light the problem of sex trafficking at sporting events.

Paul Christos, DrPH, MS

Diabetes Prevention in Qatar Should Focus on Lifestyle Factors

A study in Qatar Medical Journal by Drs. Paul Christos, Alvin Mushlin, Laith Abu-Raddad, and others, looks at the risk factors for diabetes in Qatar, which has a high rate of the disease.

Joshua Vest, PhD

Study Shows Health Information Exchange Reduces Repeat Imaging Tests

Dr. Joshua Vest and colleagues, in an article in Am J Manag Care, demonstate the value of health information exchange in reducing the number of unneccessary repeated imaging tests.

Yuhua Bao, PhD

Study Suggests Drug Coverage Alone Not an Easy Solution to Closing Treatment Gap in Depression

Dr. Yuhua Bao and colleagues examine the implications of a recent ruling on Medicare coverage for antidepressants in JAMA Psychiatry.

Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS

Using Multiple Hospitals May Be Problematic for Patients with Epilepsy

A study in Epilepsia led by Dr. Zachary Grinspan examines how healthcare fragmentation affects patients with epilepsy.

 

Bruce Schackman, PhD

Dr. Bruce Schackman Is Appointed the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health

Dr. Bruce Schackman has been appointed the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, effective January 1, 2015.

WCMC seal

Department of Healthcare Policy and Research Adds Two New Educational Programs

The Master of Science in Health Policy and Economics and the Certificate Program in Health Analytics have been accredited and are accepting students for the Fall 2015 class.

WCMC seal

Recent Department Faculty Speaking and Panel Engagements

Department faculty gave keynote addresses, organized conferences, and participated in expert panels from October to December 2014.

 

Linda Gerber, PhD

Study Finds High Use of Complementary Medicines Among Women in Qatar

Dr. Linda Gerber, Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, and colleagues found that many midlife Arabic women living in Qatar use complementary and alternative medicine.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan, Kaiser Permanente, and Colleagues Publish Results of Unprecedented Collaboration

Research sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demonstrates the importance of tracking medical devices’ effectiveness and safety.

Nathaniel Hupert, Toshiba alliance

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert and Other Cornell Faculty Enter Research Alliance with Toshiba Corporation

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert is the Principal Investigator of a research project to determine the electrical power requirements of the modern research-based academic health care center.

Drs. Rainu Kaushal and Alvin Mushlin are Site PIs for FDA’s Sentinel Contract

Weill Cornell is partnering on this important undertaking, which will use electronic healthcare data to establish the capability for post-marketing surveillance.

Dr. Jessica Ancker Is Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Jessica Ancker, MPH, PhD, who has been promoted to Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research. On January 1, 2015, she also became Chair of the Evaluation Working Group of the American Medial Informatics Association (AMIA).

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Is Invited to Write Two High-Profile Editorials

Dr. Lawrence Casalino is the author of two recent invited editorials about Accountable Care Organizations, in The New England Journal of Medicine and in Health Services Research.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Is Designated a "Highly Cited Researcher" by Thomson Reuters

Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, has been designated one of the “Highly Cited Researchers 2014,” by Thomson Reuters and has been listed in the publication, “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014.”

WCMC seal

Department of Healthcare Policy and Research Papers Cited in Informatics Year in Review

Two papers by faculty and staff members of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research are cited in the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium 2014 Year in Review.

Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Is Elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics

Dr. Kaushal has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI).

 

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Stein Named Cornell Tech Clinical Informaticist In Residence

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD, has been named the Clinical Informaticist In Residence for the Cornell Tech Campus effective December 1, 2014.

Stephen Johnson, PhD

Dr. Stephen Johnson Appointed to Accreditation Council for Health Informatics

Dr. Stephen Johnson was appointed to serve on the Accreditation Council for Health Informatics under the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH

A Simple Tool to Facilitate Shared Decision-Making about Prostate Cancer Screening

In Annals of Internal Medicine, Drs. Alvin Mushlin, Andrew Vickers, and their colleagues present a simple schema for primary care physicians to help their patients decide if PSA testing is right for them.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Is Minimally Invasive Lobectomy as Good as the Open Procedure?

A study in BMJ supervised by Dr. Art Sedrakyan found a similar rate of long-term survival in patients undergoing open vs. minimally invasive lobectomy for lung cancer.

Dr. Michael Pesko Receives First Decade Award from Hamline University

Michael Pesko, PhD, was recognized with the First Decade Award for his extraordinary work within ten years of graduating from Hamline University.

Recent Grants Awarded to Department Faculty and Staff

Drs. Yuhua Bao, Zachary Grinspan, Michael Pesko, Tara Bishop, Zhengming Chen, and Stephen Lyman are among those recently awarded grants from the NIH, private foundations, and Cornell University.

Zhengming Chen, PhD

Dr. Zhengming Chen Awarded Patent

Dr. Zhengming Chen was awarded a patent for his method of treating artery obstructive disease and stenosis after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan Awarded for Tenure as Vice-Chair of MEDCAC

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD, received an award from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for his successful tenure as the Vice-Chair of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee.

Daniel Stein, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Stein Selected for LAMP Program

Dr. Daniel Stein was selected for the 2014-2015 Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP), a year-long faculty development program for junior faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Stephen Johnson, PhD

Dr. Stephen Johnson Invited to Serve on Fellowship Nominations Committee

Dr. Stephen Johnson was invited to serve on the Fellowship Nominations Committee for the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI).

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Dr. Art Sedrakyan Co-Organizes Forum Session

Dr. Art Sedrakyan co-organized an educational session at the International Medical Device Regulatory Forum (IMDFR). The IMDFR is a forum to discuss future directions in medical device regulatory harmonization.

Nathaniel Hupert, MD, MPH

New Tool Helps Front-line Ebola Treatment Units Function in West Africa

Drs. Nathaniel Hupert and Lewis Rubinson have created a new spreadsheet tool for facilitating daily patient care and data collection in Ebola Treatment Units, responding to the 2014 Western Africa Ebola outbreak.

Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Chosen for Fellowship at Prestigious Executive Leadership Program

Dr. Kaushal has been selected to be a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Matthew Press Appointed Senior Advisor in CMS

Matthew J. Press, MD, MSc, was appointed for a two-year term as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The position began mid-August, 2014.

Dr. Jessica Ancker Publishes and Presents on Electronic Health Record Use

Jessica Ancker, MPH, PhD, led several recent studies and made a number of presentations on aspects of electronic health record use. The studies were covered in a Weill Cornell news article.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Research Challenges Safety and Efficacy of Newer Hip and Knee Implants

Five newer and widely used types of hip and knee implants offer no improvement over older versions and might even require more revisions, according to a study in BMJ led by Dr. Art Sedrakyan.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

EMCO Can Be Used in Public Health Emergencies

A comment in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine by Drs. Subroto Paul, Bruce Campbell, Ellen Meltzer, and Art Sedrakyan discusses the potential use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome resulting from natural hazards or acts of terrorism.

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Registries Vital in Tracking Medical Devices

Three prominent health organizations, including the Medical Device Epidemiological Network Science Infrastructure Center led by Dr. Art Sedrakyan, have made wide-ranging recommendations on the development of of national medical device registries.

CHEST Releases Guide to Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters

Dr. Nathaniel Hupert was part of task force that has released a consensus statement on the care of the critically ill and injured during pandemics and disasters

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Study Reveals Surprising Benefits of Smaller Physician Practices

In a Health Affairs study led by Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, smaller physician practices had lower rates of avoidable hospital admissions than did their larger counterparts. Also read the Health Affairs blog.

The Doctor as Quarterback

Writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Matthew Press stresses the need for teamwork among clinicians to effectively and safely care for patients. He was also featured in a New York Times article about a new policy for Medicare to pay doctors who coordinate care.

How Valuable is Value-Based Payment?

In a recent Opinion piece in Annals of Internal Medicine, Drs. Andrew Ryan and Matthew Press discuss the implementation challenges of one of the incentive programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Study Supports Analyzing Cost Variations at the Hospital Level

A recent study in Healthcare by Drs. William Borden and Alvin Mushlin and colleagues supports using hospital costs to examine reasons for regional variation in healthcare spending.

Laith Abu-Raddad, Ghina Mumtaz

Emerging HIV Epidemics Among People Who Inject Drugs in the Middle East and North Africa

Ghina Mumtaz, Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad, and others publish a study in PLoS Medicine revealing patterns in recent HIV epidemics among injection drug users in the region.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Dr. Madelon Finkel Is Author of Recent Articles on Shale Gas Extraction

Madelon Finkel, PhD, is the senior author of two recent articles on shale gas drilling.

 

Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM

Dr. Alvin Mushlin Chairs PCORI Advisory Panel

Alvin Mushlin, MD, ScM, chaired a recent Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia.

Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Gives Invited Talk in Oslo, Norway

Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, gave an invited talk titled “Physician Satisfaction: Should Anyone Care?” at the Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession in Oslo, Norway, on June 2, 2014.

Bruce Schackman, PhD

Dr. Bruce Schackman Chairs Workshop at European Society for Medical Decision Making Meeting

Bruce Schackman, PhD, chaired a workshop entitled “Methodological issues in economic evaluation of medical treatments for chronic diseases with societal outcomes: the case of alcohol and substance abuse” at the European Society for Medical Decision Making meeting in Antwerp June 8-10, 2014.

Madelon Finkel, PhD

Dr. Madelon Finkel is Invited Lecturer at Hamad Hospital

Madelon Finkel, PhD, Director of the Office of Global Health Education, was an invited lecturer at Hamad Hospital in Doha, Qatar, where she participated in the Clinical and Translational Research Training Course that took place from April 6 to May 5, 2014.

Dr. Thomas Campion Presents NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds

Thomas Campion, PhD, gave NIH Collaboratory Grand Rounds on June 6, 2014, on "Interoperable Architecture for PCORnet: New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN)." His talk described the PCORI-funded effort, led by Dr. Rainu Kaushal and the Weill Cornell Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, to aggregate electronic health record data from the city's academic health centers and other partners.

Dr. Tara Bishop Receives 2014 Weill Cornell Leadership Fellowship

Tara Bishop, MD, MPH, has been selected for the third cohort of the Weill-Cornell Leadership Fellows. This program, co-directed by Drs. Lawrence Casalino and Michael Wolk, seeks to identify and foster the development of Weill Cornell's "Leaders of Tomorrow."

Study Finds Coordinated Approach Improves Quality of Primary Care

A study in Annals of Internal Medicine by Dr. Lisa Kern, Ms. Alison Edwards, and Dr. Rainu Kaushal shows modest improvement in care quality among physicians participating in patient-centered medical homes. Read press releases from WCMC and The Commonwealth Fund.

Dr. Rainu Kaushal Featured in AP Article on SHIN-NY

Dr. Rainu Kaushal discusses studies she led on the State Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which was shown to reduce redundant tests and unneeded hospital admissions.

Smokers Find Ways to Pay Less for Cigarettes

In an article in Preventive Medicine, Dr. Michael Pesko gives policy suggestions for making cigarette price minimization more difficult.

Weill Cornell-Led Consortium Wins $7 Million to Develop
New York Patient Data Network

Dr. Rainu Kaushal is leading a consortium to build a city-wide research data infrastructure to improve clinical decision-making. An article about the project appears in JAMIA.

Department Faculty and Students Honored for Excellence

Drs. Erika Abramson, Ziyad Mahfoud, and Laith Abu-Raddad received Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2014, and three medical students received Public Health prizes. Read more about the teaching and student awards.

First Class of Students Graduate from Master of Science Program in Health Informatics

The first class of students in the Master of Science Program in Health Informatics graduated May 29, 2014, from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Health Care Reform: An Opportunity for Hospitals to Lead

A commentary in Annals of Internal Medicine by Drs. Andrew Ryan and Alvin Mushlin asserts that hospitals will maintain their prominent role in American medicine and remain economically viable, despite health care reform initiatives. Read news release and interview in InformationWeek.

Improving Population Health One Person at a Time?

Douglas Noble, MD, MPH, and Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, explore the perception of the phrase "population health" in accountable care organizations in an article in BMJ.

Robotic Lobectomy Found Riskier and More Expensive Than Thoracoscopic Lobectomy in Early Years After Adoption

An analysis by Drs. Subroto Paul, Art Sedrakyan, and others reveals that robotic-assisted lobectomy is associated with more bleeding than thoracoscopic lobectomy, and costs more.

Do Providers' Prior Attitudes Affect EHR Meaningful Use?

Tara Bishop, MD, MPH, Andrew Ryan, PhD, Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a study in Healthcare exploring the relationship between meaningful use of the EHR and providers' prior attitudes about EHRs.

Stephen Lyman, PhD

Dr. Stephen Lyman Is Invited Speaker and Visiting Professor

Stephen Lyman, PhD, was an Invited Speaker at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 10-14, 2014. He was also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Orthopedics at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, June 13-30, 2014.