Dr. Jha to focus on strategies to improve care and reduce waste among high-cost patients
WASHINGTON and SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The West Health Policy Center, West Health's independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) entity focused on advancing policies that can lower the cost of health care, today named Harvard School of Public Health associate professor Dr. Ashish Jha as its second policy research fellow.
Launched in January 2012, the goal of the Washington, D.C.-based West Health Policy Center is to provide policymakers with proposals that can result in at least $100 billion in savings over the next ten years. One avenue to identify savings is the Policy Center's competitive fellowship program, where innovative researchers are selected based on their ability to identify at least $1 billion in actionable, annual health care cost savings.
"The West Health Policy Center's sole goal is identifying and promoting the kinds of practical and actionable policy changes that can help address the health care cost crisis," said Dr. Michael O'Grady, president of the West Health Policy Center. "Dr. Jha's experience in the real world of practicing medicine, along with his recognized expertise in health information technology, makes him an ideal fellow to provide a data-driven look at the major drivers of health care spending among high-cost patients."
Dr. Ashish Jha is currently the C. Boyden Gray Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and a practicing general internist with a clinical focus on hospital care. His research focuses on the quality and costs of healthcare with an emphasis on health information technology and other tools as potential solutions for improving the way our health care system functions.
Dr. Jha is also affiliated with the Veterans Health Administration as special advisor for quality, the Harvard Medical School as an associate professor of medicine and the Brigham and Women's Hospital as an associate physician. Dr. Jha currently holds a M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004; a M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1997; and an A.B. from Columbia College in 1992. He maintains a health policy blog at Harvard called "An Ounce of Evidence" and is a regular contributor to Health Affairs.
"This fellowship is tremendously important. It will help us identify how we can improve care for high-cost patients in ways that will likely improve their health while reducing unnecessary spending," said Dr. Jha. "I look forward to working closely with the West Health Policy Center to develop new ideas on creatively solving the health care cost crisis."
The Policy Center's first fellow, named earlier this year, is Dr. Peter Neumann, an internationally renowned researcher on the use of cost-effectiveness analysis in health care decision making. He currently serves as the Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
West Health and the West Health Policy Center are focused on advancing cost-effective and cost-saving models of care, creating an efficient medical marketplace, promoting practical and actionable health care policy and liberating health care data.
ABOUT THE WEST HEALTH POLICY CENTER
The West Health Policy Center is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lower health care costs by developing innovative patient-centered solutions that deliver the right care at the right place at the right time. This is accomplished by conducting independent, nonpartisan research and analysis, communicating with and convening stakeholders and advancing practical and actionable health policy. The cornerstone of the Washington, D.C.-based Policy Center is to provide policymakers with proposals that can result in at least $100 billion in savings over the next ten years. Solely funded by pioneering philanthropists Gary and Mary West, the Policy Center is part of West Health, an initiative combining four separate organizations – the West Health Institute, the West Health Policy Center, the West Health Investment Fund, and the West Health Incubator. For more information, find us at www.westhealth.org and follow us @westhealth.
SOURCE West Health Policy Center