Press Releases / December 12, 2016

NIHCM Foundation Awards $320K in Investigator-Initiated Research Grants

Washington, DC — December 12, 2016 — NIHCM Foundation has awarded six new grants totaling more than $320,000 to support investigator-initiated health services research. The winning studies were selected for their potential to improve the health care system and their strong research design.

Over $1 million in grants have been made since the research grant program began in 2012. “The studies we’ve supported have been remarkably productive, uncovering important evidence, but also working to get that evidence in front of decision makers,” said NIHCM CEO Nancy Chockley. “We believe our investment in evidence will improve health care and ultimately improve lives.”

The latest round of grants will support the following projects:

  • Promoting Better Pain Management Outcomes: Precision Decision Support for Opioid Prescription
    This study will investigate the feasibility and impact of using personalized decision support to assist physicians with prescribing decisions by predicting a patient’s risk of developing opioid dependence. Findings have the potential to improve prescribing practices and reduce the prevalence of addiction.
Researchers: Ritu Agarwal, University of Maryland
Margret Bjarnadottir, University of Maryland
Kislaya Prasad, University of Maryland
  • Selected Market Failures in Health Care: Analyzing the Scope, Causes, and Potential Solutions
    This two-part study will examine health care market failures affecting consumers: 1.) the frequency and causes of surprise bills for out-of-network services, and 2.) the significance of various barriers to shopping around for services, including travel distance, referral practices, vertical integration and transparency. Results have the potential to inform policy responses.
Researchers: Zack Cooper, Yale University
Fiona Scott Morton, Yale University
Michael Chernew, Harvard University
  • Evaluating and Improving Post-Hospitalization Mental Health Follow-Up Care
    This study will identify the characteristics associated with receipt of timely follow-up mental health care after a hospitalization or emergency department visit related to mental illness, and it will examine whether follow-up care affects outcomes or spending. Findings have the potential to improve care for this vulnerable and potentially expensive patient population.
Researchers: Kimberley Geissler, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Patterns and Determinants of Inappropriate Diagnostic Imaging
    This study will describe the magnitude and costs of inappropriate diagnostic imaging and estimate the influence of patient, physician and practice characteristics and of physician self-referrals. Researchers will also examine the impact of cost containment initiatives in Massachusetts, with findings expected to inform future efforts to reduce inappropriate care.
Researchers: Gary Young, Northeastern University
Stephen Flaherty, Northeastern University
Koenraad Mortele, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
  • eQuality: Improving LGBT, GNC, and DSD Health Through a Comprehensive Medical School Training Program
    This study will develop, evaluate and disseminate a clinical skills training manual for medical students on how to provide high quality care to patients who are LGBT, gender nonconforming or have differences of sex development. This work has the potential to improve care standards nationwide through broader training on evidence-based practices.
Researchers: Susan Sawning, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Amy Holthouser, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Carrie Bohnert, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Laura Weingartner, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Jennifer Potter, Harvard Medical School
  • Consumer Directed Health Plan Impact on Low-Value Service Utilization and Spending
    This study will examine how enrollment in a consumer directed health plan (CDHP) affects use of and spending for 26 measures of low-value outpatient care. Results should inform discussions of the extent to which the growing use of CDHPs can reduce waste in the health care system.
Researchers: Neeraj Sood, University of Southern California
Rachel Reid, RAND Corporation


The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the health of Americans by spurring workable and creative solutions to pressing health care problems.


NIHCM Foundation
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