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Rhema Vaithianathan

2007-08 Harkness Fellow Senior Research Fellow Sim Ki Boon Institute, Singapore Management University Director Centre for Applied Research in Economics University of Auckland, New Zealand

Harkness Project Title: Insurance Coverage and Cost Growth

Mentor: Mike Chernew, Ph.D.

Placement: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Rhema Vaithianathan, Ph.D., a 2007–08 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is a health economist and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. Previously, she was a research fellow at Australian National University, economic consultant to the New Zealand Health Funding Authority, and policy analyst at the New Zealand Treasury. Her interests lie in health care financing systems and policy on the international level. Vaithianathan's research on topics including adverse selection , rank dependent utility analysis, cost-sharing, and imperfect competition in health insurance markets, has been published in the Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, Economic Theory, and Australian Economic Review. She was awarded the University of Auckland's Business School Research Excellence Award and Prize for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Business/Economics. She earned both her doctorate in economics and master's of commerce from the University of Auckland.

Project: Vaithianathan’s project had three objectives: (1) to determine the relationship between insurance coverage and annual real change in health care expenditure; (2) to estimate the effect of expanding coverage on the annual rate of health care cost growth; and (3) to predict the difference in cost growth according to whether the uninsured are publicly or privately covered.  She analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) from 1996 to 2005.

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Visiting Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Singapore Management University, 2014
  • Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Economics, University of Auckland, 2013
  • Associate Professor, University of Auckland, 2009

Current Positions:

  • Co-Director, Center for Social Data Analytics, 
  • Professor of Economics, Auckland University of Technology
  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing, Singapore Management University

E-mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications:

Vaithianathan R, Panneerselvam S, Santhanam R. Anaplastic carcinoma of the pancreas: is there a role for palliative surgical procedure? Indian J Palliat Care. 2014 Jan;20(1):50-2.

Vaithianathan R, Philipchandran, Selvambigai G, Jayaganesh P. Spontaneous hepatocellular adenoma in paediatric age group - case report. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Dec;7(12):2962-3.

Lewis G, Vaithianathan R, Wright L, Brice MR, Lovell P, Rankin S, Bardsley M.  Integrating care for high-risk patients in England using the virtual ward model:  lessons in the process of care integration from three case sites. Int J Integr Care. 2013 Nov 5;13:e046. eCollection 2013.

Vaithianathan R, Maloney T, Putnam-Hornstein E, Jiang N. Children in the public benefit system at risk of maltreatment: identification via predictive modeling. Am J Prev Med. 2013 Sep;45(3):354-9.

Vaithianathan R, Panneerselvam S. Emerging alternative model for cardiothoracic surgery training in India. Med Educ Online. 2013 May 6;18:1-4.

Lewis G, Kirkham H, Duncan I, Vaithianathan R. How health systems could avert  'triple fail' events that are harmful, are costly, and result in poor patient satisfaction. Health Affairs, 2013 Apr;32(4):669-76.

Lewis G, Wright L, Vaithianathan R. “Multidisciplinary case management for patients at high risk of hospitalization: comparison of virtual ward models in the United kingdom, United States, and Canada.” Popul Health Manag. 2012 Oct;15(5):315-21.

Mills C, Reid P, Vaithianathan R. “The cost of child health inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand: a preliminary scoping study.” BMC Public Health. 2012 May 28;12:384.

Lewis G, Bardsley M, Vaithianathan R, Steventon A, Georghiou T, Billings J, Dixon J. “Do 'virtual wards' reduce rates of unplanned hospital admissions, and at what cost? A research protocol using propensity matched controls.” Int J Integr Care. 2011 Apr;11:e079.

Lewis GH, Vaithianathan R, Hockey PM, Hirst G, Bagian JP. “Counter-heroism, Common Knowledge, and Ergonomics: Concepts from Aviation that Could Improve Patient Safety.” Milbank Quarterly 2011; 89(1).

Vaithianathan R, Lewis G. “The NHS as an insurer.” Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 2010 Jul; 15(3):171-3. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

Panattoni L, Vaithianathan R, Ashton T, Lewis GH. “Predictive Risk Modelling in Health: Options for Australia and New Zealand.” Australian Health Review, 2010.

Vaithianathan R, Lewis, G.  “Operational Independence for the NHS”, BMJ 2008; 337:1497.

Vaithianathan R, Hockey PM, Moore TJ, Bates DW, “Iatrogenic Effects of Coxibs in the US Population: Findings from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey,” Accepted for publication in Drug Safety, October 2008