Health Services and Policy Research Group

What is the Health Services and Policy Research Group?

The Health Services and Policy Research Group in the Department of Preventive Medicine conducts research in health policy in order to better understand how to improve population health outcomes, and optimize cost and quality in the healthcare system. Our current projects include examining affordability of insurance plans under healthcare reform, studying the impact of electronic health records and patient web-portals on patient behavior and health outcomes, and analyzing the determinants of early hospital re-admissions.


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Teresa Waters
PhD in Economics, Vanderbilt University

Research Interests: health economics, health care financing, health policy analysis, cost analysis; financing health care for the poor and underserved, safety net providers, medical malpractice, outcomes research



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Ilana Graetz
Assistant Professor
PhD in Health Services and Policy Analysis, UC-Berkeley

Research Interests: information technology and organizational culture and their effects on clinical care, quality, and costs; and patient knowledge and behavior with respect to insurance access and benefit design

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Cameron Kaplan
Assistant Professor
PhD in Economics, UC-Santa Barbara

Research Interests: health economics, how incentives can affect health behaviors and health status; geographic and ethic disparities in health outcomes, optimal insurance benefit design, the impact of health on education

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Erin Kaplan
Assistant Professor
PhD in Economics, UC-Santa Barbara

Research Interests: applied microeconomics, labor economics, health outcomes, and environmental health

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Michael Thompson
Postdoctoral Associate 
PhD in Epidemiology, Michigan State University

Research Interests: quality of care and patient outcomes, patient safety and hospital acquired conditions, hospital performance measures and value-based care, evidence-based medicine, health policy impact, communication of research to inform the public.

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Caitlin McKillop

Postdoctoral Associate 
PhD in Economics, University of Texas at Dallas

Research Interests: applied microeconomics with a focus on behavioral economics and public policy; health behaviors and outcomes; social and geographic disparities in health; applied spatial econometric methods; peer and neighborhood effects

Past Postdocs
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Kwame Nyarko

Postdoc (2014-2015) PhD in Health Services and Policy, University of Iowa

Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Atlanta GA

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Tao Li

Postdoc (2014-2015) 
PhD in Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center
M.D., Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Assistant Professor
School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences
College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

Recent Publications

Graetz, I., Kaplan, C. M., Kaplan, E. K., Bailey, J. E., & Waters, T. M. (2014). The US Health insurance marketplace: are premiums truly affordable?. Annals of internal medicine, 161(8), 599-604.

Kaplan CM, Graetz I, Waters TM. Most exchange plans charge lower tobacco surcharges than allowed, but many tobacco users lack affordable coverage. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014;33:1466-73. [PMID: 25092850] doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1338

Waters, T. M., Webster, J. A., Stevens, L. A., Li, T., Kaplan, C. M., Graetz, I., & McAneny, B. L. (2015). Community Oncology Medical Homes: Physician-Driven Change to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs. Journal of Oncology Practice, JOP-2015.

Graetz I, Huang J, Brand R, Shortell SM, Rundall TG, Bellows J, Hsu J, Jaffe M, Reed M. "The Impact of Electronic Health Records and Teamwork on Quality of Diabetes Care." American Journal of Managed Care. In Press.

Kaplan CM and Zhang Y. (2014), “The January Effect: Medication Reinitiation Among Medicare Part D Beneficiaries”, Health Econ., 23, pages 1287–1300, doi: 10.1002/hec.2981

Harris LJ, Graetz I, Podila P, Wan J, Waters T, Bailey J. “Characteristics of Hospital and Emergency Care Super-utilizers with Multiple Chronic Conditions.” Journal of Emergency Medicine. In Press.

Liber AC, Drope JM, Graetz I, Waters TM, Kaplan, CM. “Tobacco Surcharges on 2015 Health Insurance Plans Sold in Federally Facilitated Marketplaces: Variations by Age and Geography and Implications for Health Equity.” American Journal of Public Health. In Press.

Bazzoli GJ, Fareed N, Waters TM. “Hospital Financial Conditions through the US Recession: Implications for Health Reform Readiness,” Health Affairs, 2014; 33(5): 739 - 745.

Pershad J, Waters TM, Langham MR Jr, Li T, Huang EY. Cost-effectiveness of diagnostic approaches to suspected appendicitis in children. J Am Coll Surg. 2015 Apr; 220(4): 738-46.

Waters TM, Daniels MJ, Bazzoli GJ, Perencevich E, Dunton N, Staggs VS, Potter C, Fareed N, Liu M, Shorr RI. “Effect of Medicare’s nonpayment for Hospital-Acquired Conditions: lessons for future policy” JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Mar; 175(3): 347-54.

Complete list of publications

Recent Press/Media

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Teresa M. Waters, PhD
Department of
Preventive Medicine
66 N. Pauline Street, Suite 633
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5900