Healthcare Delivery
Research Blog

January 2016


I recently attended a course at the Harvard Business School called Strategy for Health Care Delivery , which is based on this text.  The main thrust of the course and book is that health care delivery will improve only if we focus on what has value for the patient and design the system accordingly.  Such a system would have six components:

healthcare delivery

Two studies published in December 2015 using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  highlight the financial hardships and economic burden associated with cancer in the United States.  The first study led by Robin Yabroff (formerly of HDRP) and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, looks at material financial hardship – measured by borrowing money/going into debt, filing for bankruptcy, being unable to cover costs of medical care, or making other financial sacrifices due to cancer – and found that hardship was more common among cancer survivors that were younger (18-64 years of age).  Psychological financial hardship (e.g. worrying about paying bills) was also more common among this group.  The second study led by Zhiyuan Zheng... Read more

Economic burden

Last Wednesday, January 6, 2016, I had an opportunity to attend a presentation about NIH’s work with IBM’s Watson.  Several groups at NIH have been exploring how Watson might benefit our operations and serve our intramural and extramural research communities.  The presentation featured work that Mike Lauer, who is Deputy Director for Extramural Research, has been involved in.


The first example pertained to using Watson to do impact analyses of NIH funding.  Our approach at the moment tends to be pretty crude, usually number of publications from a grant or initiative.  Humans had determined that less than two-thirds of clinical trials at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute had published results within 30 months after they were closed.  They identified... Read more