Jessica E. Galarraga

Jessica E. Galarraga

Jessica E. Galarraga, MD, MPH, is a Physician Investigator at the MedStar Health Research Institute in the Department of Healthcare Delivery Research. In addition, she serves as the Associate Medical Director of Quality Data Science at the MedStar Health Quality & Safety, Health Services Research Director for the MedStar Emergency Medicine Health Policy Fellowship, and is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. She is also an attending emergency physician with MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Dr. Galarraga’s research experience includes investigations of health services and health disparities, including projects examining avoidable hospital utilization and costs, healthcare quality outcomes and disparities, and the effects of payment reform on healthcare delivery. She has conducted a series of studies that employ both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the effects of the Global Budget Revenue model on emergency care. In recognition of her work in emergency health services research, Dr. Galarraga was the national recipient of the American College of Emergency Physician’s (ACEP) Excellence in Research award in 2015.

Dr. Galarraga is experienced in health care delivery and payment policymaking, including prior work as a consultant for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in the development of alternative payment models (APMs) that target vulnerable populations. Additionally, she served as President for the DC chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians from 2019-2020.

Dr. Galarraga serves as a reviewer for multiple publications, including Academic Emergency Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and American Journal of Managed Care.  Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Annals of Emergency MedicineAcademic Emergency Medicine, and the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. In addition, she has written a chapter for an online health policy textbook that describes health disparities frequently faced by Hispanic Americans.

Her medical degree is from the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, where she also earned a research-based Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration. She completed residency training in emergency medicine at the George Washington University.

Research Interests

Dr. Galarraga’s research interests include the following:

  • Health care delivery and payment  services reform
  • Value-based care
  • Health care quality 
  • Health disparities
  • Avoidable utilization and costs 

Selected Research

Costs associated with acute care in hospital settings

In this work, published in Academic Emergency Medicine (2015;22:172-81. doi: 10.1111/acem.12579), Dr. Galarraga and colleagues investigated conditions that could be prevented through improved primary care and compared cost expenditures for outpatient, emergency department, and inpatient visits for these conditions. Expansion of outpatient resources and improved health management of the chronically ill may lead to the avoidance of these conditions and their associated expensive hospital-based encounters.

The Impact of Maryland's Global Budget Payment Reform on Emergency Department Admission Rates in a Single Health System

Published in Academic Emergency Medicine (10.1111/acem.13507), using hospital medical record and billing data from adult emergency department encounters, Dr. Galarraga and colleagues assessed the effects of GBR adoption on emergency department admission decisions among adult encounters. The study found that visits declines 1.14% post-implementation of global budget payment reform. Declines in admissions were observed primarily among mild‐to‐moderate severity of illness encounters with a low risk of mortality. This work was funded by Emergency Medicine Foundation/Emergency Medicine Action Fund Health Policy Research Scholar Grant and the MedStar Health Research Institute New Investigator Associate Giving Fund.

View Dr. Galarraga’s publications on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Galarraga’s clinical practice page.

  • Research Areas
  • Critical Care/Emergency Medicine
  • Health Services/Quality/Outcomes