Policymakers across the public and private sectors depend on responsive, evidence-based solutions to address urgent questions around health and healthcare quality, access, cost, and equity. IHPI launched Policy Sprints in the spring of 2018 to help provide policymakers with timely and rigorous evidence to inform health policy and practice. Policy Sprint teams undertake rapid analyses to address important health policy questions and produce products that inform ongoing decision-making at the local, state, or national level.
We are not currently accepting Policy Sprint proposals. Find out more about Policy Sprints and what is involved here!
Projects Launched Spring 2019
Using Claims Data to Estimate Mortality Associated with Large-Scale Disaster Among Older Adults
Project lead: Sue Anne Bell, Ph.D., M.S.N., M.Sc., FNP-BC, Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing
Team: Xingyu (Mark) Zhang, Ph.D., M.S., Matthew Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H., Theodore (Jack) Iwashyna, M.D., Ph.D., Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H. (University of Pennsylvania Distinguished Health Policy Fellow)
Deaths attributable to disasters are poorly understood and official mortality estimates have traditionally taken only direct causes into account, rather than considering the contributing factors associated with a disaster that led to death. This project will look at all-cause mortality in older adults after three recent major U.S. hurricanes, utilizing claims data.
Update: In February 2020, the team published an IHPI brief that examined the health effects of weather- and climate-related disasters on older adults in the U.S.
Consumer Decision-Making About the Use of Health Savings Accounts
Project lead: Jeffrey Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., Internal Medicine, Medical School
The expansion of health savings accounts (HSAs) has been a centerpiece of recent federal health reform proposals. However, very little is known about consumer behaviors and HSAs. This project will identify which high-deductible health plan enrollees are more likely to have an HSA, what factors are associated with high levels of savings, and why consumers with HSAs may forego opportunities to contribute to their accounts.
TAVR Access and Quality Under New Medicare Coverage Rules
Project lead: Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Cardiac Surgery, Medical School
This project will estimate the impact of proposed changes to the Medicare National Coverage Determination for reimbursement of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive therapy for treating aortic stenosis, the most common heart valve disease.
Impact of Updated Heart Transplant Allocation Policy on Use of Status-Modifying Therapies
Co-project leads: Tessa Watt, M.D., Cardiac Surgery, Medical School, Thomas Cascino, M.D., Cardiac Surgery, Medical School
This project will assess potential unintended consequences to recent changes to the heart transplant allocation system that may incentivize physicians to use high-risk, expensive, “status modifying” therapies that increase the likelihood of heart transplant receipt by increasing a patient’s apparent acuity.
Projects Launched Fall 2018
Design and Implementation Challenges of Opioid Prescribing Limits for Acute Pain
Project lead: Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D., Pediatrics, Medical School
Opioid prescribing limits are an important component of the policy response to the US opioid epidemic. This project will highlight design and implementation challenges of these emerging policies to regulate opioid prescribing. The policy sprint will provide insight into how to minimize potential unintended effects and presenting policy options for addressing these implementation challenges.
Improving Maternity Outcomes in the U.S.: Using Data and Policy to Promote High-Value Care
Project lead: Alex Friedman Peahl, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School
Team: Vanessa Dalton, M.D., M.P.H., Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A., Vineet Chopra, M.D., M.SC., Michelle Moniz, M.D., M.Sc., FACOG, Lindsay Admon, M.D., M.Sc.
Rates of maternal morbidity and mortality are on the rise in the U.S., resulting in an urgent need for new approaches to provide higher value maternity care – that is, care that improves outcomes at a lower cost. This policy sprint will identify key components of successful international prenatal care delivery models to inform state and federal discussions about ways to improve perinatal care in the U.S.
Short-term Health Plans and Potential Impact on Women: An IHPI Policy Snapshot
New regulations are increasing access to short-term health plans, which are not required to cover the essential health benefits such as contraceptive and maternity coverage. This policy sprint will explore potential effects of these policies on women’s health, summarizing potential policy options that states may consider undertaking.
Update: In April 2019, the team published an IHPI brief that examined state approaches to restrict access to short-term health plans.
Surprise Billing in Surgical Care
Surprise medical bills are endemic to surgical care, arising when a patient chooses an in-network surgeon and facility but receives care from an out-of-network provider – often an assistant surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist, or another consultant – during their surgery. This policy sprint will look at the extent to which different types of providers contribute to out-of-network billing in surgical care, informing the national conversation around policies to reduce surprise billing.
Updates: The team published a Health Affairs Blog piece on surprise billing policy challenges related to the air ambulance industry in October 2019, and a Health Affairs Blog piece in February 2019 examining various federal policy approaches to ending surprise medical billing. In February 2020, the team published a study in JAMA examining the prevalence and impact of surprise bills in elective surgery.
Projects Launched Spring 2018
Voluntary Alternative Payment Models: Examining the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model
Project leads: Lena Chen, M.D., M.S., Internal Medicine, Medical School, Edward Norton, Ph.D., Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health
Team: Andrew Ryan, Ph.D., M.A., Jason Gibbons, B.A., Allison Hu, M.H.S.A.
Alternative payment models (APMs) aim to use financial incentives to improve value in health care. There is debate about whether APMs should be mandatory or voluntary for participating providers. This policy sprint will seek to understand which hospitals dropped out of one APM – the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model -- after it transitioned from a mandatory to a voluntary program. Understanding what types of providers dropped out may help inform decisions about the voluntary vs. mandatory nature of future APMs.
Tobacco 21 in Michigan: New Evidence and Policy Considerations
Project leads: Holly Jarman, Ph.D., M.Res., Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health, David Mendez, Ph.D., M.S., Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health, Rafael Meza, Ph.D., Epidemiology, School of Public Health.
Team: Clifford Douglas, J.D., Alex Liber, M.S.P.H., Karalyn Kiessling, M.P.H., Charley Willison, Leia Gu
Across the nation, more than 440 localities and seven states have passed legislation raising their minimum legal tobacco sales age to 21. The Michigan legislature recently introduced a related bill and it is likely to be considered again in the future. This project aims to assess the likely impact of Tobacco 21 policies on the health and well-being of Michigan residents, in addition to assessing potential tax revenue implications.
Update: The team published a white paper and IHPI brief, “Tobacco 21 in Michigan: New Evidence and Policy Options,” in March 2019. View these products and other updates here.
Questions? Contact Sarah Wang, IHPI Policy Engagement Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-647-5859