Song Receives AcademyHealth Best Abstracts Recognition

ARM 2020 graphic

Two abstracts by assistant professor of health care policy and medicine Zirui Song, MD, PhD received Best Abstracts recognition at the 2020 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting.

The abstract “Social Learning and Health Care Utilization: Evidence from Spousal Health Shocks” was chosen as the best submission under the “Addressing Consumer and Patients’ Preferences and Needs” theme. Examining a large nationwide population of Medicare and commercially insured households, Song showed that immediately after a spouse’s heart attack, cardiac tests (e.g. stress tests and cardiac imaging) increased sharply in the other spouse. Immediately after a spouse’s stroke, head and neck testing (e.g. carotid artery ultrasounds and head and neck imaging) similarly increased in the other spouse. Analogous sharp responses in health care use were observed for shingles vaccination immediately after a spouse is diagnosed with shingles, and in influenza testing and vaccination immediately after a spouse contracted influenza.

The abstract “Changes in Prescription Drug Spending and Utilization 8 Years into Global Payment” was chosen as the best submission under the “Payment and Delivery Systems Innovations” theme. Along with co-authors associate professor of health care policy Jose R. Zubizarreta, PhD, Harvard health policy PhD candidate Yunan Ji, BA, head of measurement at Haven Dana G. Safran, Sc.D, and Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy Michael E. Chernew, PhD, Song observes that the decrease in spending on prescription drugs over 8 years in a large two-sided global budget contract was largely explained by savings from branded pharmaceuticals.

Song joins many department of health care policy colleagues including John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management Joseph P. Newhouse, PhD, and Warren Alpert Foundation Professor of Health Care Policy J. Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD, as a recipient of this recognition.