HPM Department News

2018 Celebration of Student Awards

On April 28, 2018, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.  

Hospice carve-in for medicare advantage is inevitable according to Driessen

HOME HEALTH CARE NEWS - Because of the nature of hospice being separate, Medicare Advantage plans are not as familiar with the benefit and its overall costs. “There is a fair amount of uniformity in the concerns around a carve-in…the fact this has been regulated to be off their radar, they don’t have data on [hospice],” says HPM's JULIA DRIESSEN. “[There’s] no incentive for them to understand the hospice landscape.”  

Out-of-pocket drug costs still murky, Gellad underscores

BIOPHARMA DIVE -  Since 2007, invoice spending has grown 60%, yet net spending rose 36%. Less clear, however, is how those dynamics weigh on patients' wallets. "This does not help us figure out what's affecting out-of-pocket costs," WALID GELLAD, HPM professor.  

Gellad talks about the biggest causes of opioid deaths (video)

NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT from CNBC - Americans are filling fewer prescriptions for opioids, however, heroin and stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl have overtaken prescription drugs as the biggest causes of overdose deaths. “One of the main [questions] that people are concerned about is whether there’s been a transition to heroin and other forms of opioids because of the reduction in prescription opioids, says HPM’s WALID GELLAD (16:45-19:30... 

Celebrate 70: Roberts presents risk adjustment in pay-for-performance programs (VIDEO)

Providers are financially incentivized to improve the quality and value of care they provide. Risk adjustment can allow researchers to account for the variation in patient characteristics that would predict differences in spending and outcomes, independent of the performance of the provider. ERIC ROBERTS (HPM) concludes that risk reduction could prevent the risk of quality providers serving sicker and poor patients from being penalized  

Celebrate 70: Global health impact (video)

Faculty and alumni spoke on a panel to highlight the public health impact on global communities, including immigration crises, planetary health, climate change, and the importance of health systems. KELLY SALDANA (BCHS ’01) talked about creating resiliency and figuring out what that means both at the individual level and the systems level to help lessen negative effects of climate change.  

Would Americans accept putting health care on a budget?

NEW YORK TIMES - The intuitive appeal of such a system is growing, and it’s getting a test in Maryland. However, capping hospital spending raises concerns about harming quality and access. Hospital executives and patient advocates might strongly resist spending constraints. A study by HPM's ERIC ROBERTS found inconsistent evidence that changes in hospital use in Maryland could be attributed to global budgeting.  

Progovac published in Health Affairs

HEALTH AFFAIRS - "Identifying Gender Minority Patients' Health and Health Care Needs in Administrative Claims Data" is the title of a recent article by ANA PROGOVAC (HPM '15) appearing in the top-tier health policy journal. Progovac was also invited to speak on her work as part of a press briefing panel focused on advancing health equity.   

Gellad talks about the disconnect between what patients pay out of pocket and the true cost of drugs

BIOPHARMA DRIVE - Nearly one in four patients picking up their prescription drugs from the pharmacy counter paid a copay which exceeded the price the insurer paid the pharmacy, according to an analysis of sampled reimbursement and insurance claim data published in JAMA. The disconnect between what patients pay out of pocket and the true cost of the drug (including rebates) is the real problem, says HPM’s WALID GELLAD.  

Value based payment inequity and reimbursement models with which you should be familiar

MEDPAGETODAY - Financial incentives and patient care in today’s health care industry are near inseparable. This article delineates some important issues and tips about Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Included are benefits from voluntary bundles, care calculation issues, and a study on inconsistencies in value based payment methods from HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS.   

Pioneers in computerized legal research: The story of the Pittsburgh system

PITTSBURGH JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY LAW & POLICY -  HPM's Tina Batra Hershey and Dean Burke discuss the early pioneering work of researchers in the legal field who developed the "Pittsburgh System" a precursor to the computerized legal research tools ubiquitous today.  

Meet Molly Shiflet (HPM '19), Hershey Scholarship Awardee

“From a very young age I knew I wanted to pursue a career in service and helping others, says Molly Shiflet. “The field of public health seemed like a perfect fit.” When the time came to look at graduate schools, Shiflet says she immediately was drawn to Pitt Public Health for its strong national reputation and “seemingly endless” opportunities for students.  

Meet Manasa Pallapolu (MHA '19), Hershey Scholarship Awardee

Manasa Pallapolu discovered she had an interest in health care administration while on the pre-med path at Drexel University. After graduation, the Fairfax, Va., native worked as the head of medical billing at a psychiatric office, where she was exposed to “a completely different side of health care.” She decided to return to school to pursue a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. 

Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon

JOHANNA BELLON (HPM '15) is the Senior Director of Quality Analytics and Performance at the UPMC Wolff Center. UPMC is a 40+ hospital integrated finance and delivery system with over 3,500 providers and a multitude of clinical sites.  

Lindsey featured on podcast "Black Boys and Men: Changing the narrative"

MCSILVER INSTITUTE – This podcast series brings together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to analyze stereotypes and dispel myths concerning Black boys and men, while providing facts and best practices for those working with these often marginalized populations. MIKE LINDSEY (HPM ’01) says, “with increased media and attention, more folks are attuned to racial issues and the long lasting impact of discrimination.” 

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