Press Releases / February 16, 2023

NIHCM Awards $500,000 to Top Health Care Researchers Advancing Pioneering Research

Washington, D.C., February 16, 2023 – The 2022 NIHCM Research program grantees are initiating work that will advance evidence on a broad range of factors that contribute to rising health care costs and ongoing health care disparities. The studies aim to break new ground on important topics like the impact of private equity investment in health care, cybersecurity in hospitals, the social determinants of health, and issues linked to the ending of the public health emergency. The NIHCM Foundation's Research and Journalism Grant programs provide $1 million in grants each year.

"We are delighted to support leading researchers who will advance NIHCM's commitment to producing pioneering evidence that can be used to help address the challenges facing our health care system. These innovative studies will increase our understanding of opioid addiction, telehealth, disparities in diabetes care, mental health care, and other timely topics,” said Nancy Chockley, Founding President and CEO of NIHCM.

The NIHCM Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to transforming health care through evidence and collaboration.

The 2022 Grantees are:

Increasing Private Equity Investment in Cancer Care: What is the Effect on Prices and Quality of Care?
Despite increases in private equity acquisition of oncology practices, little is known about the effect on market competition, prices, and quality. This research team will examine the changes in health care quality and prices following private equity acquisition of oncology practices and explore whether these acquisitions exacerbate health disparities among racial groups. This work may be relevant to policymakers and antitrust regulators assessing private equity deals.

University of California, Berkeley

  • Ola Abdelhadi
  • Richard Scheffler

Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Timeliness of Diabetes Care
Diabetes is a common and costly chronic condition, and complications differ by race and ethnicity. This research team will examine differences by race and ethnicity in diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes both for patients with prediabetes and diabetes. The results from this study will inform better targeting of future interventions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care and outcomes.

University of California, Los Angeles & VA Greater Los Angeles

  • Dan Ly
  • Paul Shekelle
  • Donna Washington
  • Tannaz Moin

Yale University & VA Connecticut

  • Cynthia Brand

Increasing Access to Postpartum Mental Health Care via Telehealth: Evidence from Medicaid Coverage of Mental Health Services in Massachusetts
Postpartum mental illness impacts 1-in-5 in women who give birth. Prior to the pandemic, Massachusetts Medicaid began reimbursing telehealth behavioral health services at parity with in-person visits. This study will investigate the impact of this policy change on overall use of postpartum mental health services, differences among rural and non-rural areas, and mental health outcomes. Findings will inform the development of policies in other states that aim to improve perinatal mental health.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  • Chanup Jeung
  • Kimberley Geissler
  • Laura Attanasio

A State-wide Study of Childbirth-Related Opioid Exposure and Conversion to Postpartum High-Risk Opioid Use
A significant number of women receive postpartum opioids, including 80 to 90% of women who undergo Cesarean and 12% who undergo vaginal delivery. This research team will analyze data on opioid prescriptions among a cohort of women to examine transitions to high-risk opioid use in the postpartum year and identify predictors of high-risk use, focusing on the role of childbirth exposure. Findings may inform quality improvement initiatives related to opioid prescribing and postpartum care management with a goal of contributing to efforts to mitigate opioid-related maternal morbidity and mortality.

University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

  • Meredith Matone

University of Pennsylvania

  • Zachary Meisel

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

  • Xi Wang
  • Douglas Strane

Debunking the Myth that High Drug Prices Accelerate Innovation
The United States has the highest prescription drug prices in the world. A common argument used to justify high prices is that lowering them will harm innovation and the development of new cures. This study will examine large and small drug companies to compare how effectively each invests their research and development spending into new and innovative cures and treatments. Findings will inform policy efforts to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for patients.

Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP)

  • Avik Roy
  • Gregg Girvan
  • Michael Franc

The Effects of Physicians’ Financial Transfers from Drug Firms on Prescribing of Physician-Administered Cancer Drugs
Physicians commonly receive marketing-related payments from drug firms. This research team will examine the impact of this practice on the prescribing of physician-administered cancer drugs in Medicare and the effect on cancer patients’ mortality rates. The study may inform ongoing policies at hospitals on drug firms’ physician-directed marketing guidelines, as well as changes to the prescribing and payment of cancer drugs in Medicare.

Cornell University

  • Colleen Carey

University of Washington

  • Jing Li

Analysis Group

  • Michael Daly

Improving Competitive Drug Markets by Reviewing Patents
Generic and biosimilar drugs save consumers billions of dollars and improve health by reducing cost-related barriers to access. The timely availability of these products depends on their patents, so this study will compare the effectiveness of different strategies used to review the validity of drug patents, including litigation and administrative proceedings within the US Patent and Trademark Office. Findings may help policymakers modify intellectual property protection rules to enhance the competitiveness of the US drug market.

West Virginia University College of Law

  • S. Sean Tu

Harvard University

  • Aaron S. Kesselheim

University of Cambridge

  • Victor van de Wiele

Can Improving Pharmaceutical Patent Quality Promote Competition and Reduce Drug Prices?
To lower drug prices, Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Patent Office are considering reforms to the system for granting and enforcing pharmaceutical patents, including initiatives to target patent quality through the restriction of secondary patents. This study will investigate the feasibility of promoting competition and reducing prices through restricting secondary patents. Study findings will inform current policy initiatives on this approach to reducing drug prices.

Columbia University

  • Bhaven N. Sampat

The Effect of Hospital Ransomware Attacks on Health Care Delivery and Patient Outcomes
Despite increased occurrences, the lack of data on ransomware attacks has impeded research. This research team will use a newly developed database to analyze how hospital ransomware attacks affect health care delivery and patient outcomes. The findings will provide new evidence for ongoing debates and legislative proposals about improving the cybersecurity of critical US infrastructure – including hospitals.

University of Minnesota

  • Hannah Neprash
  • Sayeh Sander Nikpay
  • Claire McGlave

Do Hospital Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that Address Social Determinants of Health Reduce Hospital Readmission and Mortality?
This study will determine the causal effects of hospital-CBO partnerships on hospital readmissions and mortality for the leading mental health and injury-related causes of death (suicidal ideation or suicide) and the leading physical cause of death (heart attack). Findings may inform how, where, and for whom targeted hospital partnerships with CBOs can reduce hospital readmission and mortality.

Weill Cornell Medicine, Department of Population Health Sciences

  • Yunyu Xiao

UC Berkeley, School of Public Health

  • Timothy Brown

Automating Enrollment into Marketplace Coverage During Unwinding
There are concerns that ending the Medicaid continuous coverage provision in early 2023 will result in widespread coverage loss. This study will evaluate state insurance marketplace efforts to mitigate coverage loss through automatic enrollment policies and may help policymakers understand what state-specific factors aided and hampered policy implementation.

Harvard University

  • Adrianna McIntyre
  • Mark Shepard

In the Shadows of Trauma: The Economic and Clinical Impact of Childhood Firearm Injuries on Survivors and Family Members
This research team will examine the effects of firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents on health care spending, utilization, and health outcomes among survivors and their family members. This work aims to provide novel, rigorous evidence on the economic and clinical ripple effects of childhood firearm-related injuries -- now the leading cause of death in children and adolescents, but still poorly understood among those who survive.

Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Zirui Song
  • José Zubizarreta
  • Mia Giuriato
  • Katherine Koh
  • Chana Sacks


NIHCM Foundation
(202) 296-4426