Press Releases / November 13, 2015

NIHCM Foundation Awards $328K in Investigator-Initiated Research Grants

Washington, DC – November 13, 2015 - NIHCM Foundation has awarded six new grants totaling more than $328,000 to support investigator-initiated health services research. NIHCM increased its funding level for the research grant program again this year, reflecting its commitment to supporting researchers in their work to improve health care through objective evidence.

"We need to make sure researchers have the funding to pursue their best ideas—not just the ideas that happen to fit an RFP,” said Nancy Chockley, President and CEO of NIHCM Foundation. “That’s the role we’re filling with these investigator-initiated grants."

The 2015 grants are as follows:

  • The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Understanding Its Complications & the Effectiveness of State Policies
    This study will collect information from officials in eight states on their policies addressing opioid pain reliever (OPR) abuse, empirically quantify a range of OPR complications, and estimate the impact of state policies on these complications. Results are expected to inform additional efforts to stem OPR abuse.

Researchers: Stephen Patrick, Vanderbilt University
Melinda Buntin, Vanderbilt University
Carrie Fry, Vanderbilt University
Christine Whitmore, Vanderbilt University
  • Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of High-Risk Care Management Through Machine Learning
    This study will apply state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to electronic health record data to predict which patients are likely to become high users of health care and which are likely to respond well to high-risk care management (HRCM). Results will contribute to more effective and efficient HRCM programs.

Researchers: Ziad Obermeyer, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brian Powers, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Rebecca Cunningham, Brigham and Women's Hospital
David Cutler, Harvard University
Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University
  • Physician-Driven Overuse of Services for Patients with Advanced Cancer
    Building on NIHCM-funded work showing that physician practice patterns drive use of inappropriate cancer services, this study will examine the use of services for patients with advanced cancer, where patient preferences might be expected to play a larger role. Results will inform efforts to reduce use of low-value services.

Researchers: Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Katherine Panageas, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Peter Bach, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Elena Elkin, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Coral Atoria, Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Evaluation of Affordable Care Act Policies to Encourage Accurate Prices for Medicare Services
    This study will examine (1) whether provisions of the ACA have affected the process and outcomes for updating Medicare physician fees and (2) whether the methods used to determine the fiscal impact of these changes are sound. Results will help to improve the accuracy of fees for physician services.

Researcher: Miriam Laugesen, Columbia University
  • An Empirical Investigation of Potential Manipulation in the Nursing Home Rating System
    This study will examine trends and correlations in nursing homes’ self-reported measures of quality and more objective measures from other independent sources to assess whether Medicare quality scores are inflated. Results will inform improvements to the rating system.

Researchers: Niam Yaraghi, The Brookings Institution
Ram Gopal, University of Connecticut
Xu Han, University of Connecticut
  • How Do Patients Rate Experiences with Physicians Who Provide More Low-Value Services?
    This study will explore whether Medicare beneficiaries give their primary care physicians higher ratings if these physicians have a practice style characterized by more provision of low-value services. Results will help to increase the effectiveness of interventions to improve the value of health care services.

Researchers: Prachi Sanghavi, The University of Chicago
J. Michael McWilliams, Harvard University
Alan Zaslavsky, Harvard University
Aaron Schwartz, Harvard University
Anupam Jena, Harvard University


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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