Samar DeBakey, MD, MPH, president., Health Research and Analysis - HRA
Samar DeBakey, MD, MPH, president.Policymakers and healthcare systems rely on real-world evidence from health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) to script effective healthcare policies and strategies that are responsive to emerging trends. However, this real-world data is scattered across disparate sources such as electronic health records, medical claims, pharmacy transactions, and administrative registries. It needs to be powerfully integrated to gain the whole picture of healthcare.

This is where health data research experts like Health Research and Analysis (HRA), LLC brings value with its comprehensive analytical methodologies.

HRA places high emphasis on health economics and outcomes research to deliver actionable and contextual data for evidence-based decision-making in healthcare initiatives and social programs. They specialize in epidemiologic research, healthcare performance measurement, and policy/program evaluations for various public and private sector clients.

The firm uses a rigorous scientific and systematic approach to cleanse data from complex real-world databases to either assess the hypotheses of a program or shed light on the actual happenings. It decides on either a top-down or bottom-up approach based on client objectives.

HRA predominantly uses the top-down approach when conducting a study to measure a particular healthcare program, while the bottom-up approach is typically for identifying areas or opportunities for improvement and to give clients a clear view of the healthcare ecosystem for policy development. All approaches are adapted to the environment under study so that any derived insights are specific and applicable.

During research, HRA adapts industry standard methodologies to evaluate healthcare processes, outcomes, and costs while allowing for benchmarking. For example, HRA routinely looks at readmission rates and costs of episodes of care and then benchmarks the results against industry standards. The firm understands that merely representing a percent of the population is hardly enough and, as such, engages in rigorous epidemiologic methods that consider multiple covariates, including age, gender, race and ethnicity, and case mix, to cite a few.

Health Research and Analysis - HRA: Delivering Actionable Insights for Better Health

In this regard, HRA takes a multivariate and systematic approach using different methodologies and metrics, including those of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ).

“our value proposition is to provide data-driven insights that synergistically look at health outcomes along with cost. We bring in industry standards to compare one entity to the other based on best practices and established methodologies. Our research outcomes are not just a numerator and denominator,” says Samar DeBakey, president of HRA.

HRA also identifies anomalies, outliers, and areas that require further research or audits and articulates those findings’ challenges and limitations when delivering insights. The company discerns itself by embedding with the client and learning their programs to provide faster research outcomes without sticking to a cookie-cutter approach.

our value proposition is to provide data-driven insights that synergistically look at health outcomes along with cost. We bring in industry standards to compare one entity to the other based on best practices and established methodologies. Our research outcomes are not just a numerator and denominator

As a case study, Dr. DeBakey shared HRA’s key role in implementing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act for the Responders and Survivors across New York City, Shanksville, and the Pentagon. The firm collaborated with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the World Trade Center health program directors to translate the policy into practice. In this pursuit, HRA synergistically worked with clinical and IT departments to develop a healthcare (IT) system for adjudicating the medical claims to be covered by the program. HRA was instrumental, along with other partners, in getting the program up and running within six months. The firm’s role has matured, and HRA is now the program evaluator and HEOR partner in measuring program performance and identifying areas for improvement while engaging both top-down and bottom-up approaches to real-world program data. This instance exemplifies HRA’s nimble and adaptable capabilities.

HRA is also involved in research programs where the results of their work are often published in the peer-reviewed literature. An example is HRA’s collaboration with the Department of Defense in studying the health effects of deployment on Veterans. Scripting similar success stories, HRA plays an integral role in monitoring programs/policies as a whole, developing metrics and studies for specific hypotheses, and delivering necessary data as actionable insights for policymakers, program administrators, and researchers.