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Paul Dourgnon

2016-17 Harkness Fellow Research Director Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé


Placement: University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health

Mentor: Nadereh Pourat, Ph.D. (Professor of Health Policy and Management, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health)

Project Title: Addressing Undocumented Immigrants Healthcare Needs through Innovative Programs in California

Paul Dourgnon, Ph.D., M.Sc., is a 2016-17 French Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. He is currently Research Director at the Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé, as well as an Associate Researcher at Hospinnomics, and Paris Dauphine University research Center for Health Economics. His research topics include social inequalities in health and health care utilization, policy evaluation, and survey sciences. Since 2014, he has been head of the Health and Welfare Policy unit at the Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé, where he is leading research on equity, health insurance, and health in the workplace, as well as developing tools for measuring access to healthcare services and patient experiences. He has also been involved in the Migrant Integration Policy Index and projects around financial protection in European health systems, funded by the World Health Organization. Dourgnon received a Ph.D. in economic sciences from Université Paris IX Dauphine, and a master’s degree in statistics with a specialization in health economics from Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse de l’Information.

Project Abstract:


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has made historic gains toward expanding coverage and improving access to quality and affordable health care for the U.S. population. Nevertheless, Undocumented Immigrants have remained excluded from ACA provisions and represent a significant part of the resident population that is still uncovered today.


In California an estimated 1.8 million residents are uninsured as a result of their documentation status, but the state is a pioneer with regard to the creation and implementation of policies for the uninsured and undocumented at both the state and county level. Innovative programs such as My Health L.A. in Los Angeles county, and Healthy San Francisco, which aim to turn traditional safety nets into integrated and comprehensive systems that include patients irrespective of their documentation status recently been launched at the county level.


This study aims to measure and analyze trends in Undocumented immigrants’ needs, access and utilization of healthcare services across California counties from the 2001-2016 using the California Health Interview Surveys. County level analysis will allow for the examination of sociodemographic characteristics, as well as differences in local safety net programs. This quantitative analysis will be coupled with in depth case studies of existing programs in representative counties, including key stakeholder interviewed conducted in both urban and rural counties in California.