Health Economics and Health Systems Researcher Joins MedStar Health

Derek M. DeLia, PhD, Director of Health Economics and Health Systems Research

Derek M. DeLia, PhD, has joined MedStar Health Research Institute as the Director of Health Economics and Health Systems Research. His research focuses on healthcare payment and delivery reform, federal and state health policy, performance measurement for accountable care organizations (ACOs), shared savings arrangements, coordination of care for complex patients, emergency medical care, healthcare access, and health insurance coverage.

Dr. DeLia currently serves on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Systems and Value Research Study Section and has served on other scientific review committees for AHRQ, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

“Health services research is important because it affects everyone in some aspect of their life. It is needed to ensure that the right services are provided to the right people at the right time as efficiently as possible,” said Dr. DeLia. “Research needs to be continually conducted and updated because healthcare and related services are complex and they operate in an ever-changing economic and technological environment. We also need diverse groups of people to participate in this research to ensure that their concerns are well represented.”

Dr. DeLia has presented research and provided policy analysis for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the National ACO Summit, the National Medicaid Congress, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the Medicaid Office in the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services.

“Of my recent work, measuring financial performance in shared saving arrangements, which are common in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other delivery system reforms, has been very impactful. The body of work uses some fairly advanced statistical modeling and simulation techniques to help organizations get a firmer grasp on the financial risks they assume when participating in these arrangements,” said Dr. DeLia. “Although I am proud that the work led to several peer-reviewed publications, it stands out, especially because it was quickly recognized by practitioners for having immediate practical relevance. Optum used findings from this work to create an online risk calculator made available as a planning tool for ACOs. Because of this work, I was invited twice to the National ACO Summit to explain the financial risk implications embodied in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Similarly, I was asked to apply principles from this research to assist United Healthcare and a Medicaid ACO in Camden, New Jersey in the development and execution of their own shared savings arrangement.”

Prior to joining MedStar, Dr. DeLia was a research professor and senior health economist at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. He also held research positions at the United Hospital Fund of New York and taught Health Economics, Econometrics, and Statistics at Rutgers University, Columbia University, New York University, and the City University of New York. Dr. DeLia earned a PhD in Economics at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.