Health Services Researcher Awarded Grant to Study Payment Reform

Three clinicians rushing in hallway

A MedStar health services researcher has been awarded a $100,000 Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) Health Policy Research Scholar Grant to study the effect of payment reform in emergency departments.

Jessica E. Galarraga, MD, MPH, Attending Physician, MedStar Emergency Physicians, and Clinical Instructor, Georgetown University School of Medicine will be working on her project, “An Evaluation of a Payment Reform Experiment: The Effects of Global Budgets on Emergency Department Admissions and Associated Healthcare Costs,” at MedStar Health and the Georgetown University School of Medicine. This grant is in addition to the New Investigator Grant that she received from MHRI, as announced in June 2016.

“The state of Maryland has embarked on a payment reform experiment which aligns the financial incentives of hospitals with the incentives of population health to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital setting in an effort to control the trends in health care spending,” said Dr. Galarraga. “This all-payer, global budget revenue (GBR) model incentivizes hospitals to minimize hospital admissions per given year and become cost-efficient in the care of admitted patients. If the new financing structure introduced by the GBR program is successful at reducing hospitalization rates, the leading source of national health expenditures, then this bold payment reform model in Maryland may become the precedent for addressing the healthcare cost dilemma for the rest of the country.” She hopes that her “research will introduce a foundation of understanding for emergency department (ED) providers on how the GBR model impacts ED care and may uncover the potential need for improved outpatient resources to balance quality patient care in the ED with the financial incentives of a GBR model.”

The EMF has awarded more than $13.8 million in research grants since its founding 1972 by visionary leaders of the American College of Emergency Physicians. The mission of the EMF is to promote education and research that improves patient care, provide the basis for effective health policy and develop career emergency medicine researchers.

The goals of the Health Policy Research Scholar Award Program, funded by the Emergency Medicine Action Fund, is to promote research on health policy affecting emergency care; to answer topical health policy questions affecting emergency medical care; to facilitate the academic growth, advanced education, and development of future leaders in emergency care health policy; and to invest in the future of the specialty of emergency medicine.

Congratulations to Dr. Galarraga!