IHPI Member Profile: Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

(dramatic music) – The work that I primarily do is around understanding variation in care that’s delivered for patients undergoing cardiac surgery, looking at where there
is differences in care across hospitals or providers, understanding the sources or
the reasons for that variation and then how that impacts
things like outcomes and episode spending. In addition to that the work that I do is very much focused on how
health policiy and regulations impacts the care that is provided and how those may have intended and unintended affects on patients. There’s a lot of
opportunity as it pertains to improving value in
the health care system. This has been a hot topic
for a number of years, especially in the last couple years with value based payment initiatives. We certainly have spent
a lot of time trying to improve quality of care,
ensuring good patient outcomes, but I think that that is
only one side of the coin and other things that we
really need to consider is, what is the efficiency of the
care that we are providing? The other aspect that I think that is often less discussed
when it comes to value is whether or not the care is
being valued appropriately. Often times we are very concerned about how can we perform a surgery in outpatient care in a very
high quality executed way, but if it’s not being executed
on patients appropriately then that is very low value care. So we need to think about, is
this what the patient wants, and is this from a clinical standpoint, is it appropriate for a patient to receive a procedure or drug? So balancing the incentives
that are placed on trying to reduce things
like hospitalizations and what that means to
patient outcomes is one thing that’s on the front burner
for a lot of people. There’s a lot of evidence
that high episode spending is related to increase
use of post acute care, skilled nursing
facilities, inpatient rehab and while these may be
beneficial for some people, they may not be beneficial for everybody and so understanding how do we balance, who are the patients that benefit most from these kind of services and then avoiding that kind of
health care use for patients that may not need it and
may have better outcomes by avoiding those types of care. One thing that we’ve been looking at, in terms of disparities,
is the kind of advancement and diffusion of new
cardiovascular technologies. So every year we see new medications or devices be rolled out. We’ve been trying to understand how those technologies kinda
diffuse across the population and whether certain
populations have limited access compared to others and in trying to ensure that the patients it has been expanded to are also maintaining high quality of care. And while those are important
from a research standpoint, it’s also very important
from a regulatory standpoint. And how do we inform the policies that regulate where these
devices can be supplied, where we can try to expand access in a safe and equitable way, I think is an area of increased interest, particularity in the cardiovascular space.

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