James (Jim) Dupree, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Dupree’s research interests within health services also include male fertility, reproductive health, and sexual health, as well as health policy more broadly, and studying the local impact of federal health policy. He served as the American College of Surgeons’ first Health Policy Fellow and has published on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and value-based purchasing in surgical care. He also directs the Michigan Value Collaborative, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan/Blue Care Network-funded collaborative quality improvement program.
- M.D., Northwestern University
- M.P.H., Northwestern University
- B.S., Biology, Duke University
Health Services Research & Policy Focus
Collaborating Centers & Programs
What are you thinking about?
I’ve been thinking about reproductive health inequities in our healthcare system. These inequities are especially apparent in policy decisions made by insurers to cover or not cover work-up and treatment for infertility.
Why is this interesting to you?
The World Health Organization classifies infertility as a disease, and most people agree that reproduction is an important life activity. Infertility can have a significant impact on couples and can be associated with other major health conditions. For example, having male factor infertility is associated with an increased long-term risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. Thus, I find it interesting that the vast majority of insurance companies exclude infertility work-up and treatment, similar to how they exclude coverage for cosmetic surgery.
What are the practical implications for healthcare?
Infertility treatments can be expensive, but when patients are left to pay out-of-pocket for their care, many are excluded from accessing services. Given the other conditions associated with infertility, these patients should be pulled into the healthcare system so that their diabetes and obesity, for example, can be identified early and treated. Additionally, providing insurance coverage for infertility treatments like varicocelectomy and vasectomy reversal can downgrade the intensity of the intervention required for a couple to achieve a pregnancy and lower overall costs to the healthcare system.