HPM Department News

Ritu Pathak (MHA '20), UPMC Insurance Division Administrative Fellow

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My aspiration to pursue UPMC’s Insurance Administrative Fellowship was due to their unwavering focus on career development. Continuous education and a constant learning environment represent UPMC’s drive towards excellence in every facet. During my search for potential fellowships to apply for, I decided to narrow down my list based on two-year duration, IDFS organization, and rotational experience.  UPMC matched everything I was looking for in ... 

Maira Undavalli (MHA '20), NYU Langone Fellow

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I applied to the NYU Langone Fellowship because I was amazed at how well their hospital services reflected the community needs of their diverse populations. I wanted to build a career with one of the best health systems in the nation that put a significant focus on innovation and strategy with the patient in the heart of every decision they made and the process they implemented. I accepted my offer because of how well I connected with my intervi... 

Mike Whalen (MHA '20), OhioHealth Administrative Fellow

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After graduating, I’ll be starting as an Administrative Fellow with OhioHealth, Central Ohio’s largest health system. I’ll be placed in the OhioHealth Physician Group, which includes providers across over 250 physician offices. OhioHealth has been named to Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 13 consecutive years, and I was really drawn to the emphasis that the organization places upon relationship building.  I’m very excit... 

Jarlenski confirms inconsistencies in enforcement of ACA birth control coverage

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VICE - The most recent research found that insurance was inconsistent in guaranteeing full coverage of birth control options. “This is an ongoing issue,” said HPM’s Marian Jarlenski, who researches maternal and child health. “You may be hit by a surprise bill; you may just decide to pay out-of-pocket, not knowing there might be an appeals process; or you could go to a different clinic.”  

Sabik finds Massachusetts’ health reforms helped catch more cancers early

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - “Our study is the first to present evidence that Massachusetts' health reform may be associated with a shift to earlier-stage diagnosis for a cancer that has a high cure rate when caught early,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “We expect that early cancer diagnosis will likely be one of the major success stories of national health insurance reform.”  

Hernandez on how the high price of MS drugs affects lives

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EVERYDAY HEALTH - “Even when patients have insurance, these price increases result in very high out-of-pocket costs for them,” says study coauthor Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16). Twelve percent said they had to stop taking their medication for a time due to cost, and 8 percent have taken less than prescribed to stretch their drugs to last longer.  

James study on how a ‘care system’ must change to adequately support caregivers

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In a March 2018 Journal of Palliative Medicine article addressing improvements for dementia and senior caregiving, Everette James, interim dean and director of the Health Policy Institute, and other researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the RAND Corp. stated that “fundamental changes are needed in the way we identify, assess, and support caregivers. Educational and workforce development reforms are needed to enhance the competencies ... 

Gellad on how availability of biosimilars may impact drug pricing

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MANAGED HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE –  With prices estimated to be 15-16% lower than originator products, biosimilars hold promise for reducing spending, but it is unclear how list prices, discounts, and net prices for the originator products change with such competition. HPM’s Walid Gellad is co-author on this JAMA Network Open publication. Results show that some prices increased annually by up to 6.1% until the introduction of a biosimilar after whic... 

Zeni publishes epidemiology for advanced nursing textbook

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Congratulations to Mary Beth Zeni (HSADM ’93) on the publishing of her textbook, Principles of Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice: A Population Health Perspective. Zeni is an associate professor of nursing at Ursuline College in Cleveland, OH. Additionally, Zeni uses her decades of experience in analyzing population health data as a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Opioid Taskforce and the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership’... 

Students present interdisciplinary content in community session on health justice

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On a wet Wednesday night, December 4, Pitt Public Health student advocates Sarah Sanders (BCHS ’22), Sarah Bigelow (BCHS ’20), Paris Ekeke (EPI ’20), and Amy Raslevich (HPM ’22) joined peers from the schools of law and nursing for a Health Justice Night at Pitt's Community Empowerment Center in Homewood. The evening was powered by PechaKucha, aimed to spark community level engagement and inter-professional collaboration by offering a unique look... 

Morgan wins Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award

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Russell E. Morgan Jr (HSADM ’70) received the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding lifetime achievements in international health from the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association. Morgan was presented with the award during the 2019 APHA annual meeting in Philadelphia in November.   

Drake finds rural-urban flip in health insurance premiums

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UPMC - People in rural areas of the U.S. who receive subsidies to buy health insurance pay less in premiums than their counterparts in urban areas, a flip that occurred in 2018 and has been widening since. “There’s this narrative that, until recently, was correct: Rural populations did not enjoy the same improved health plan affordability under the ACA as people living in cities, now we’re finding that, at least for subsidized enrollees, that’s ... 

Drake on health care policy and the challenge of inertia

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PASADENA STAR NEWS - HPM's Coleman Drake tells us it's an exciting year for the Affordable Care Act marketplace. More generous subsidies are available, overall premiums are only increasing slightly, and some insurers are expanding into new markets. But more research is needed for us to understand why some enrollees are not benefiting from the competitive market. Known to economists as inertia, this phenomenon occurs when health plan enrollees st... 

Hernandez receives 2019 Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award

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VALDOSTA DAILY TIMES - "As an exemplary leader in the field of managed care, Dr. Hernandez sincerely represents the values that the Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research award was founded on," said Mike Hennessy Jr., president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences, parent company of the presenting body, the American Journal of Managed Care. The award was named in honor of Sonnad, who served as a mentor to many young researchers and was... 

Hollander finds doctors who get gifts from opioid makers more likely to prescribe large amounts, study finds

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THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - While several previous studies have focused on the relationship between pharmaceutical promotions and doctors' prescribing habits, this new study from lead author Mara Hollander (HPM '20) focuses on how those payments affect physicians across specialties. "There's definitely some behavioral science and social science literature that indicates that providers may perceive themselves immune to bias from gift giving - we ... 

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