PHILADELPHIA– At a recent conference of the nation’s top health economists, a team of SPEA faculty members presented research on topics ranging from Caesarean sections to the Affordable Care Act.
The American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) meets biannually to promote excellence in health economics research. The University of Pennsylvania hosted the conference, themed “New Frontiers in Health Policy and Health Care.”
"This is about big plenaries, great stars and an army of health economists from across the country coming together here," said Daniel Polsky, UPenn professor and chair of the ASHEcon Conference local organizing committee. "The real gold is in the 534 papers that are being presented. There are 76 alone that evaluate aspects of how the Affordable Care Act is working or can be improved," Polsky said in a UPenn statement on the conference.
Six SPEA faculty members were among the presenters, signifying the school’s increasing prominence in the field. That was reflected in SPEA’s first-ever top 12 ranking in the recent U.S. News and World Report listing of the nation’s best Health Policy and Management MPA programs.
“It was really impressive to have so many people from SPEA at the conference to demonstrate the quality and uniqueness of our work,” said Kosali Simon, a SPEA faculty member and expert on the Affordable Care Act. Simon is also a founding member of ASHEcon’s Board, and one of the section chairs of this year’s conference. “In addition to presenting our research and learning from our colleagues, we also wanted to use the conference as a way of reaching and recruiting prospective students. SPEA’s programs in Healthcare Policy and Management, including our MPA’s newest concentration in Health Policy, are relatively young but they are growing and so is our national reputation.”
Simon was among the most active faculty at the conference, presenting several papers including her work on early assessments of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Other SPEA faculty presenters and their topics:
- Seth Freedman whose papers included research on electronic medical records and medical procedure choice with a focus on Caesarian sections.
- Brad Heim who used tax records to analyze the income responses to the ACA.
- Alex Hollingsworth who presented research on the impact of energy policy on respiratory health and mortality.
- Victoria Perez who investigated the effect of Medicaid expansion on hospital closure and capacity, and managed care’s effects on budget predictability.
- Coady Wing who examined how health plan types effect healthcare utilization.
SPEA Ph.D. students with research presented include: Shun-Wen Wu, Lindsey Bullinger, Noah Hammarlund, and Angshuman Gooptu.Read more about the SPEA presenters, their papers, and the conference