Health Services & Economics

"Reducing the growth in health care spending requires improving the quality and timeliness of care and decreasing low-value care, which doesn’t improve health and may actually be harmful.”

Robert Penfold, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Research overview

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) covers many fields, but much of what we do is health services research. That means we’re studying what really works — and what doesn't — in health care, with a focus on achieving aims including better population health, improved patient experience, and lower health care costs.

It all starts with Kaiser Permanente Washington’s learning health system, where research and practice work side by side to inform and improve each other. Researchers benefit from Kaiser Permanente Washington’s comprehensive capture of rich information about patients’ health, use of health care, and costs. Clinical leaders benefit from rigorous evaluations of novel innovations in care delivery and provider reimbursement.

“Together, we are learning what it takes to quickly translate what works into our health system — and track the long-term effects on outcomes that matter to patients, clinicians, and policymakers,” said David Arterburn, MD, MPH, a senior investigator. Here are just a few examples:

The impact of our health services research is extensive. Being part of the Kaiser Permanente system, along with our membership in the Health Care Systems Research Network, the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, and other national and international collaborations increases the size and diversity of our study populations. These connections also help KPWHRI shape care and policy beyond the Kaiser Permanente Washington system.

Recent publications on Health Services & Economics

Bennett AV, Lozano P, Richardson LP, McCauley E, Katon WJ. Identifying high-risk asthma with utilization data: a revised HEDIS definition.  Am J Manag Care. 2008;14(7):450-6. PubMed

Bensley KM, Harris AH, Gupta S, Rubinsky AD, Jones-Webb R, Glass JE, Williams EC. Racial/ethnic differences in initiation of and engagement with addictions treatment among patients with alcohol use disorders in the Veterans Health Administration. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2017;73:27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.11.001. Epub 2016 Nov 11.  PubMed

Berg AO, Baird MA, Botkin JR, Driscoll DA, Fishman PA, Guarino PD, Hiatt RA, Jarvik GP, Millon-Underwood S, Morgan TM, Mulvihill JJ, Pollin TI, Schimmel SR, Stefanek ME, Vollmer WM, Williams JK. National Institutes of Health state-of-the-science conference statement: family history and improving health. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(12):872-7. Epub 2009 Nov 2. PubMed

Berger D, Lapham GT, Shortreed SM, Hawkins EJ, Rubinsky AD, Williams EC, Achtmeyer CE, Kivlahan DR, Bradley KA. Increased rates of documented alcohol counseling in primary care: more counseling or just more documentation? J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Mar;33(3):268-274. doi: 10.1007/s11606-017-4163-2. Epub 2017 Oct 18. PubMed

Bergese SD, Mestek ML, Kelley SD, McIntyre R Jr, Uribe AA, Sethi R, Watson JN, Addison PS. In Response. Anesth Analg. 2017;125(3):1077-1078. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002292.  PubMed

Researchers in Health Services & Economics

David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-4610
David.E.Arterburn@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH

Executive Director and Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Vice President for Research and Health Care Innovation, Kaiser Permanente Washington
206-287-2988
Rita.M.Mangione-Smith@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Robert Penfold, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2232
Robert.B.Penfold@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

James D. Ralston, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2076
James.D.Ralston@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katie Coleman, MSPH

Director, ACT Center
206-287-2872
Katie.F.Coleman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2151
Katharine.A.Bradley@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator; Director, ACT Center
206-287-2113
Paula.Lozano@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jessica Chubak, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2556
Jessica.Chubak@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen Wernli, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2934
Karen.J.Wernli@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Erin J. Bowles, MPH

Director, Collaborative Science
206-287-2708
Erin.A.Bowles@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH, MSW

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2021
Gwen.T.Lapham@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Melissa L. Anderson, MS

Principal Collaborative Biostatistician
206-287-2647
Melissa.L.Anderson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Eric Johnson, MS

Senior Collaborative Biostatistician
206-287-2105
Eric.Johnson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Lorella Palazzo, PhD

Senior Collaborative Scientist
206-287-2173
Lorella.G.Palazzo@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula R. Blasi, MPH

Collaborative Scientist
206-287-2094
Paula.R.Blasi@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Yates Coley, PhD

Associate Biostatistics Investigator
206-287-2071
Rebecca.Y.Coley@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

Associate Investigator
206-287-4266
Joseph.E.Glass@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paige D. Wartko, PhD, MPH

Senior Collaborative Scientist
206-442-5230
Paige.D.Wartko@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Leah K. Hamilton, PhD

Senior Collaborative Scientist
206-287-2515
Leah.K.Hamilton@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Chloe Krakauer, PhD

Collaborative Biostatistician
chloe.a.krakauer@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Claire Allen, MPH

Manager, Collaborative Science
Claire.L.Allen@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Theresa E. Matson, PhD, MPH

Collaborative Scientist
Tessa.E.Matson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

 

Affiliate researchers

Douglas A. Conrad, PhD, MBA, MHA
Health Services and Dental Public Health Sciences
Center for Health Management Research
Finance and Business Economics
University of Washington (UW)

David Grembowski, PhD
Health Services and Dental Public Health Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Sociology, UW

Larry Kessler, ScD
UW Department of Health Services

Emily Williams, PhD, MPH
UW Department of Health Services; VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence