Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute Announces Neiman Institute Grant Recipients

Reston, VA – Two research teams have each been awarded $75,000 in grant funds from the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute. The new Neiman Institute grant program provides funding for research aimed to inform health policy toward improving patient care and ensuring the proper use of healthcare resources. The first two proposals selected for the grant award are poised to make a significant impact in priority areas for health policy in radiology.

The first grant was awarded to the multi-institutional research team of Aaron F. Bush, MD, Join Y. Luh, MD, FACR, Anne Hubbard, MBA, Nikhil G. Thaker, MD, and Mark R. Waddle, MD, for their project entitled “Improving the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model: A Joint Academic Center and Community Practice Initiative.” The team’s goal is to optimize the radiation oncology alternative payment model’s (RO-AMP) payment methodology by looking at base rates, adjustment factors, and payment exclusions.

“This project aims to generate the most comprehensive and accurate data representation of reimbursement rates to date by unifying resources between the Neiman Institute, a major academic center (Mayo Clinic), a large network of freestanding community radiation oncology practices, and pooled Medicare claims data,” said Aaron Bush. The study seeks to find solutions to help the RO-APM better achieve its intended goal to reduce cost and improve quality while avoiding the unintended consequences of the method that have led to widespread criticism and concern, including negative impact for the most underserved patients. The researchers will leverage comprehensive patient data from multiple sources to account for several pivotal factors relating to cancer severity, palliative care, evolving technology, and the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The goal is to propose a data-driven model that is more accurate and equitable.

The second grant was awarded to Miriam E. Peckham, MD, Ruth C. Carlos, MD, MS, FACR, Yoshimi Anzai, MD, MPH, and Lubdha M. Shah, MD. Their project, entitled “Addressing Barriers to Low Back Pain Imaging/Intervention for Underserved Population Groups in Utah Using the RE-AIM Framework,” will develop and test a model for radiology to overcome social and economic disparities and contribute to population health initiatives. The team will analyze factors such as neighborhood deprivation (defined as lack of local resources of all types), insurance status, median income, and other socioeconomic factors to create a model for predictive identification of patients most at risk for not receiving proper lower back pain treatment. From there, the researchers will pilot a care-coordination intervention to improve patient care for individuals with high risk for undertreatment.

“With this project, we seek to further define characteristics of underserved populations in our state by diving deep to understand individual and community factors that may reduce the likelihood of needed imaging and intervention. Then, we will move immediately to action by testing a care-coordination intervention aimed to reduce the disparities observed in this group,” Miriam Peckham.

“Health policy research gives us evidence-based information on how and where imaging is used and how its paid for, but also is critical in uncovering disparities, in access to imaging and the barriers that cause these disparities” says Pamela K. Woodard, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Commission on Research. “The Neiman Institute grant fills an important gap because there is really no other mechanism nationwide for funding imaging heath policy research or training young faculty in health policy with a focus on imaging.”

To learn more about the Neiman Institute Grants, please see their Grants & Fellowship page.

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About the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute is one of the nation’s leading medical imaging socioeconomic research organizations. The Neiman Institute studies the role and value of radiology and radiologists in evolving health care delivery and payment systems and the impact of medical imaging on the cost, quality, safety and efficiency of health care. Visit us at www.neimanhpi.org and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.