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Michael Laxy

2017-18 Harkness Fellow Head Researcher, Working Group on the Economics and Management of Diabetes Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management Hemholtz Zentrum München


Placement: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mentor: Edward Gregg, Ph.D.  (Chief, Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Co-mentor: Mohammed Ali, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc., M.B.A. (Associate Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University)

ProjectNational Strategies for Diabetes Prevention - Shall Public Health Care Funding Cover Community-Based Lifestyle Interventions? The Example of Medicaid

Michael Laxy, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., is a 2017-18 German Harkness/B. Braun Stiftung Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. He is currently the head of a working group on ‘Economics and Management of Diabetes’ at the Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management at the Helmholtz Zentrum München (German Center for Environmental Health). Laxy’s research focuses on economic evaluation of prevention and treatment strategies for metabolic diseases, and the analysis of health policies targeting patient health behavior and quality of care. He is a co-investigator on the population-based KORA research platform and has held visiting research positions at the University of Cambridge and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Laxy received his doctorate in Medical Research (Public Health and Epidemiology) from the Ludwig Maximilians University München, and his thesis was awarded the 2016 Helmholtz Graduate Award. He also holds Master’s degrees in both Public Health and Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology from the Ludwig Maximilians University München.

Project Abstract: A substantial proportion of health care expenditure is on the treatment of preventable chronic diseases. Randomized trials have shown that lifestyle interventions are effective for type 2 diabetes, but such interventions have only been implemented in a few countries. Under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDDP), a public-private initiative, was launched. The program has had significant reach and many private and public insurers, including Medicare, now cover or plan to start covering DPP-like lifestyle interventions. Coverage under Medicaid is currently being discussed and tested in several pilot studies. This project aims to analyze the implementation strategy of the NDDP and project the expected costs and health gains of covering it in the Medicaid population.

Expert interviews with key players from public health institutions, payers, and providers will be conducted to identify general facilitators and barriers to the successful implementation of the NDPP in the U.S. health care system and Medicaid in particular. The long-term cost-effectiveness of extending Medicaid coverage to DPP-like lifestyle interventions will be analyzed by parametrizing the CDC-RTI type 2 diabetes simulation model with Medicaid specific input (claims, MEPS and NHANES data). This project will provide important evidence on the barriers to implementing a large-scale life-style prevention program in a complex health care system and inform decision makers about the expected cost-effectiveness of covering DPP-like services for the Medicaid population.