I am a health economist and an Assistant Professor at Tulane University in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I conduct research on a variety of topics including (1) cancer therapy evaluation, (2) payment reform topics including the Oncology Care Model (OCM) and related reforms, (3) care delivery among the Medicaid and Medicare populations, and (4) health care disparities. I have a mix of real-world healthcare experience, relevant academic training, and a publication record that is well-suited for the Cancer Population Sciences & Disparities LCRC program area, which focuses on the “epidemiology of cancer, especially disparities, health equity, and behavioral interventions for better prevention and diagnosis”.
My career has followed a non-traditional academic path as I first worked in the health care industry for about a decade before pursuing my PhD. I started at a health care consultancy that provided qualitative research services to help medical device, testing, and pharma and biotech companies best position their products and services for provider adoption and health insurer reimbursement. The majority of the company’s clients were oncology-focused companies. Through this work, I interviewed hundreds of physicians and health insurance medical directors and supported dozens of oncology product launches. I parlayed this experience into my next industry role, which focused on utilizing real-world data to evaluate the clinical utility of cancer therapies. To this day, I maintain ties to this sector of the health care field.
This brings me to my first relevant research area to LCRC: cancer therapy evaluation. I utilize real world data to better understand oncology drug efficacy. My two relevant publications, both in the Journal of Clinical Oncology Clinical Cancer Informatics, utilize electronic medical records data to improve drug evaluation. The first manuscript, “Comparisons of Real-World Time-to-Event End Points in Oncology Research”, assesses different proxy outcomes measures for disease progression that allow for more scalable real-world evidence-based studies. The second manuscript, “Improving Real-World Mortality Data Quality in Oncology Research: Augmenting Electronic Medical Records with Obituary, Social Security Death Index, and Commercial Claims Data”, focuses on how to improve survival measures in support of drug evaluation.
My second most relevant research area concerns the Oncology Care Model (OCM), which was a Medicare alternative payment program that incentivized cost efficient care. I have published four papers on this model in JAMA Network Open, the American Journal of Managed Care, the Journal of Cancer Policy, and the International Journal of Healthcare Management. I generally find that the incentives in the model are associated with modest reductions in service intensity and costs. I have also studied related payment reform topics including Medicaid expansion, private payer oncology payment models, and other emerging oncology payment systems.
Beyond these two research areas, I am also interested in topics related to changes in care delivery patterns (especially among the Medicaid and Medicare populations) and in health care disparities. I have additionally embedded my interests in cancer care into other areas of my research including patient-focused behavioral interventions and the financial impacts of health shocks (such as a cancer diagnosis). I look forward to finding ways to broaden my collaborations with researchers affiliated with the LCRC.