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AHRQ’s MEPS-HC Health Policy Booklet Abstraction Tool Wins Prestige

AHRQ’s MEPS-HC Health Policy Booklet Abstraction Tool Wins Prestige

BETHESDA, MD – An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) project on which Econometrica played a key role won an award for developing “an efficient data abstraction tool and the support of well-trained, highly skilled abstractors.”

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) Health Policy Booklet Abstraction project, on which Econometrica served as a subcontractor to SoftDev, won recognition in the 7th Annual FedHealthIT Innovation Awards. The awards recognize and honor innovation and results in the Federal health technology and consulting community that benefits the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Health System, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The MEPS-HC project involved the creation of an abstraction tool for use in extracting cost-sharing data elements from Summaries of Benefits and Coverage and other health insurance policy documents for private, Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans. Econometrica was responsible for training, implementing, and ensuring the quality of the data abstraction process using the abstraction tool developed by the team. The abstracted data will be compiled into a public-use database with individual-level cost-sharing data that links to the MEPS-HC data for use in research and consumption by a variety of stakeholders as well as the public.

“This represents the development of an efficient data abstraction tool and the support of well-trained, highly skilled abstractors to produce a robust, accurate and actionable data source for AHRQ’s use,” according to FedHealthIT.

The tool “modernized AHRQ’s available toolset by harnessing cognitive services in a way not previously used.” FedHealthIT also noted that “the solution strikes a smart balance between automation and human intelligence to best interpret artifacts, empowering AHRQ to leap forward after a twenty year wait for the critical information locked within the [health policy booklet] documents.”

AHRQ and the project and MEPS team will be recognized at a virtual ceremony June 22 and 23, 2021. Award winners were nominated and selected by a panel that included current and former Federal health leaders across Government and industry. More about the awards and other winners can be found at https://www.fedhealthit.com/2021/05/2021-fedhealthit-innovation-award-winners-announced/.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) Health Policy Booklet Abstraction project, on which Econometrica served as a subcontractor to SoftDev, won recognition in the 7th Annual FedHealthIT Innovation Awards.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Healthy Eating and Kids: A Q&A With a Pediatrics Registered Dietitian

Healthy Eating and Kids: A Q&A With a Pediatrics Registered Dietitian

BETHESDA, MD – To celebrate today’s Tasty Tuesday for Every Kid Healthy Week, we interviewed a pediatric Registered Dietitian. Carol
Henderson,
a member of Econometrica’s Health Group, is a pediatrics Registered Dietitian who has worked with children and teens and their families for dozens of years. In particular, she worked with infants and children with feeding and growth issues and children diagnosed with chronic conditions and diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, juvenile arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and severe food allergies.

Interviewer: I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about what it is like working as a pediatric dietitian and what you want to accomplish when working with children and their families?

Carol: The primary goal when working as a dietitian with pediatric patients who are sick is to ensure adequate, proportional growth throughout childhood. Some children need to grow bigger and become stronger and some need to minimize their growth over time. Pediatric dietitians also evaluate a child’s activity level, daily schedule, parent/caregiver roles, timing of meals and mealtime environment, food availability, meal preparation, and sleep patterns to gauge an individual’s nutritional needs. These actions align with each of the daily themes we are celebrating during Every Kid Healthy Week:

  • Mindfulness Monday. Preparing healthy meals for a family is an investment that not only requires time, commitment, but also a state of mindfulness—a sense of calm that is needed to prepare meals, even during chaotic family times. Taking time out once a week to inventory foods on hand and create a shopping list may make it easier to put meals on the table.
  • Tasty Tuesday. Today, which is Nutrition and Healthy Eating day, is a good time to assess the nutritional quality of the snacks your child/children are eating and how often they snack throughout the day. It is important to develop healthy feeding habits (have set times for meal and snack intervals—especially for young children) so they can achieve their nutritional intake goals every day.
  • Earth Day Wellness Wednesday. Have you every quizzed your child to see where they think different food ingredients come from? This activity can turn into a project. You can select an ingredient in a dish you are preparing and ask if it comes from an animal, plant, or is it a mineral and go from there!
  • Thoughtful Thursday. Kids react to their environment and learn from others. Therefore, creating a pleasant environment where your child can sit and eat meals at regular intervals and interact with other family members contributes to their social and physical well-being.
  • Fitness Friday. Kids wiggle, squirm, run, and love to play—all things that contribute to their development. It is your job as parents/caregivers to find outlets for children to keep them active.

Interviewer: How did you pick dietetics as a profession? 

Carol: Dietetics found me! I was going to become a high school chemistry teacher. In college, I conducted my junior year teaching practicum in a local high school. A small group of students in one chemistry class thought it would be hilarious to capitalize on my untested teaching skills, so they combined all the reagents (acids and bases) that lined the lab benches and blew up the chem lab. Everyone evacuated safely and I stood in the middle of the chem lab while the sprinklers were raining down on me and said, “I don’t ever want to be a chemistry teacher!” Because chemistry is such an integral part of food science and dietetics, I found a new calling.

Interviewer: There are so many different paths you could have undertaken with a dietetics degree, why pediatrics?

Carol: My oldest sister had just completed medical school and she received her residency “match” at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. At the same time, I completed my Dietetic Internship at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, so we moved in together. A dietitian position opened at Cincinnati Children’s and I became one of two dietitians for a 750-bed hospital. That would not happen today. Nowadays, a children’s hospital of the same size would have more than 35 dietetic staff members. It has been a great blessing to have worked with children, teens, and their families as a pediatric dietitian and patient advocate for many decades.

Interviewer: Carol, do you have any parting thoughts you would like to share today?

Carol: The greatest gift I have received from working as a pediatric dietitian is the importance of play. Play consumes all children. I think as adults we should consume more play in our lives!

Interview edited for length and clarity. Thanks to Emma Wellington for conducting this interview. 

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

 

Preparing healthy meals for a family is an investment that not only requires time, commitment, but also a state of mindfulness—a sense of calm that is needed to prepare meals, even during chaotic family times.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Econometrica Launches New Course

Econometrica Launches New Course

BETHESDA, MD – Econometrica launched a  new course about handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is the best thing, aside from social distancing, that you can do to protect yourself and your community from the spread of COVID-19. Adapted from guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new course  will focus on when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy – a simple task, yet often misunderstood and performed poorly.

The new course is available at https://econometricainc.com/training/.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is the best thing, aside from social distancing.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

BETHESDA, MD – On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) nationwide. Econometrica, Inc., continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of our staff, their families, and communities. We also are taking steps toward meeting our commitments to clients and partners and continue to provide the high-quality and timely services expected from Econometrica.

The following summarizes steps we have taken to date:

  • Econometrica has mandated that all employees work full time from home for the foreseeable future. We are complying with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to halt gatherings of more than 50 people and to encourage social distancing.
  • Employees working remotely have full access, using secure configurations, to Econometrica’s network resources, applications, and support, including communication tools to support telework. No project work will be interrupted by this move to a remote setup.
  • Project teams in our Health, Housing and Community Development, General Services, Capital Markets, and Data Analytics groups are moving toward scheduling all meetings virtually and limiting travel. All business travel is temporarily suspended during this time.
  • Staff members who work onsite at our clients’ offices continue to report to their respective agencies unless directed otherwise. We have been in contact with each client to develop contingency plans to address remote work should access to the client site is limited or an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We have regularly communicated prevention strategies and tips from CDC and the American Red Cross for keeping homes and workplaces safe. Everyone has been advised to call their doctors and follow CDC recommendations for self-quarantine should they show any symptoms related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus infections increase at an exponential rate, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Social distancing seems to be effective in reducing the spread, and Econometrica wants its employees to feel safe and remain healthy. As this outbreak unfolds, Econometrica will continue to provide its high-quality services with no reduction in availability or commitment.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

Coronavirus infections increase at an exponential rate, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Social distancing seems to be effective in reducing the spread, and Econometrica wants its employees to feel safe and remain healthy.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Read more about Econometrica’s News.

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Kidney Health Executive Order Policy Review

Kidney Health Executive Order Policy Review

BETHESDA, MD – The Health Group of Econometrica conducted a review of the Kidney Health Executive Order passed by President Trump on July 10, 2019 . This essential decision impacts programs operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health providers, kidney patients, and the availability of resources dedicated to treatment . Econometrica is committed to staying informed of decisions like these to better serve the interests of our clients .

In addition to the report, Econometrica also created downloadable Kidney Health White Paper

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

The most common risk factors of CKD are diabetes, which causes kidney damage due to excess sugar, and high blood pressure, which can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys over time.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Check out our report and downloadable infographics.

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