Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
PRL-IHPS contributes to the solution of complex and challenging health policy problems through leadership in research, training, technical assistance, and public service.
Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law
Learn more about the new on-line Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law Degree Program at UCSF and UC Hastings College of Law.
Hal Luft Award Winner 2017
In recognition of UCSF faculty who are engaged in health services and/or health policy research in their mentoring roles which demonstrate the qualities exemplified by Dr. Harold Luft.


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New to IHPS 

Gabby Schmajuk (Core Faculty)

Gabby Schmajuk MD MSc has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine (Department of Medicine / Division of Rheumatology) since 2011 and has just joined the core faculty at IHPS.  Gabby has worked with IHPS mentors Ed Yelin and Patti Katz since she was a rheumatology fellow and post-doc at Stanford. Her research interests are in quality measurement, quality of care, and patient safety in the rheumatic diseases. She is the co-director of the UCSF Quality and Informatics Lab (QUIL), an interdisciplinary research group focused on quality measurement and quality improvement. She also leads the data analytic center for the American College of Rheumatology's national patient registry, "RISE." Current projects include building an EHR-enabled dashboard for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and assessing the effects of participation in pay-for-performance programs on quality. Her clinical home is at the San Francisco VA, where she sees patients in the general rheumatology clinic. 

Bob Hiatt (Affiliated Faculty)

Robert A. Hiatt, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and immediate Past Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF and the Associate Director for Population Science of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research interests include cancer epidemiology, especially breast cancer, cancer prevention and screening, the social determinants of cancer, environmental exposures in early development related to cancer, and health services and outcome research.  It is this latter interest that has drawn him to become a member of the IHPS. He was the first Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute and a past president of the American College of Epidemiology and the American Society for Preventive Oncology. Dr. Hiatt was responsible for the development of the UCSF doctoral program in Epidemiology & Translational Science. He serves as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and his doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. He shares many projects with Dr. Brindis and others in the IHPS and looks forward to becoming engaged in many more.

Working Parents, Take a Deep Breath: Preschool, Daycare Do Not Raise Asthma Risk

Social MediaA UCSF study that involved combing through more than 50 years of data to assess the link between asthma and daycare and preschool attendance may provide welcome reassurance to working parents. Early child care does not boost children’s risk for developing this common respiratory disease, according to the study led by researchers at UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.

In fact, attending a child care facility is protective of asthma in children ages 3 to 5, lowering their odds of developing asthma by 34 percent, according to senior authors Michael Cabana, MD, MPH, and Janet Coffman, PhD and first author Alicia Swartz, concluded in their study published in the Journal of Asthma.

“The early benefit of child care exposure can potentially be explained by the hygiene hypothesis,” said Michael Cabana, MD, MPH, chief of the UCSF Division of General Pediatrics.  “This theory suggests that lack of exposure to infectious diseases commonly found in child care settings may decrease the risk of allergic diseases, including asthma.” 

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Anthem rescinds evaluation and management reimbursement policy to cut payments

Social MediaAnthem has dropped its plan to reduce by 25 percent payments for certain evaluation and management codes. The insurer made the policy change in response to strong opposition from the American Medical Association and other physician groups. 

"Anthem's decision to drop its planned modifier 25 policy is a positive step forward, demonstrating again that when doctors and health plans work together, the best outcome for patients can be achieved," Jack Resneck, Jr., MD, AMA Board Chair, Professor in the UCSF Department of Dermatology and affiliated faculty member of IHPS, said. "This policy is one of a number of issues that the physician community has been working on with Anthem, and the AMA looks forward to continuing these efforts to find ways to collaborate on strategies to deliver affordable, high-quality, patient-centered care."

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