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  Center for Intelligent Biomedical Devices and Musculoskeletal Systems (IBDMS)
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Center for Health Management Research (CHMR)
University of Washington at Seattle (lead institution)
A National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center since 1992

Partner Institutions:

  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Network for Healthcare Management
  • Washington Health Foundation

Understanding and solving problems in the management of health care delivery organizations is a growing national concern

Center Mission and Rationale
Health care has become one of the foremost domestic issues in the United States. With health care costs representing about 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, government, industry, and the public share growing concerns about a range of health care matters. Governments at all levels recognize that health care costs continue to escalate despite a variety of regulatory and competitive initiatives. Business and industry view the increased costs of health care and health care benefits as impediments to their ability to compete in international markets. At the same time, over 40 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Health care delivery organizations and university researchers have sought independently to address these problems.

The Center for Health Management Research brings together academic faculty and health-industry leaders to address these critical issues. The Center believes that its research, which combines the resources of 15 universities, will provide important insights into health-care costs, quality, and access.

Research Program
The Center's research goals are to --

  • Develop a research agenda together with its corporate sponsors
  • Perform research, development, and evaluation projects on behalf of its sponsors and disseminate research results
  • Identify and disseminate relevant research findings and successful innovations and management practices from other industries, countries, and health care organizations.

Eleven leading health-care-delivery organizations across the nation are corporate members of the CHMR. The Center's academic research partners include faculty from graduate programs in health services management and policy at the following universities: Arizona State University (ASU), University of California at Berkeley (UCB), University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Colorado at Denver, University of Southern California (USC), University of Washington (UW), San Diego State University (SDSU), Northwestern University, Ohio State University (OSU), University of Michigan (UM), University of Missouri, University of North Carolina (UNC), The University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia .

Framework for examining quality improvement
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Research at the Center is organized around the major theme of integrated health care systems. As of the time of publication, 13 research projects have been undertaken at the Center:

  • "Evaluating New Ways of Managing Quality" -- Northwestern, UCB, Colorado
  • "Managed Health Care" -- UW
  • "Evaluation of Physician-Organization Arrangements" -- UM, Pennsylvania, UCLA, ASU
  • "Patient Care Restructuring" -- ASU, OSU
  • "Clinical Practice Patterns and Health Care Information Systems" -- Missouri, UNC
  • "Prenatal Services for Teens" -- Colorado
  • "Physician-System Alignment" -- Northwestern, UM, Pennsylvania, UW, UCB
  • "Assessment of Dissemination and Utilization of Innovations" -- UNC
  • "Impact of System Integration on Supplier Contracting" -- Pennsylvania
  • "Evaluating Quality Improvement in U.S. Hospitals"1 -- Northwestern, UCB
  • "Continuum of Care Services in Integrated Delivery Systems"2 -- California State-Long Beach
  • "Impacts of Service Line Organizational Arrangements in Integrated Delivery Network" -- UNC, Boston U.
  • "Organizational and Clinical Factors Influencing Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines" -- Missouri, OSU, UM
Case Studies of Physician Integration
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The Center has also commissioned papers on the following topics:

  • "Docs on Top: The Role and Function of the New Physician Executive" -- USC, ASU, UW
  • "Incorporating Health Promotion and Disease Prevention into Integrated Delivery Systems" -- UCB
  • "Advances in Clinical Integration" -- UW
  • "Physician Right-Sizing: Origins, Processes, and Consequences" -- Medical College of Virginia
  • "Integrating Learning Into Integrated Health Care Delivery Systems" -- Toronto, U. Kentucky
  • "Economic and Financial Effects of Re-engineering, Work Redesign, and Cost Reduction" -- UM, UNC
  • "Organizational Implications of Downsizing and Other Cost Reduction Strategies in Healthcare Organizations" -- Toronto, UNC
  • "Purchasing Population Health: Aligning Financial Incentives to Improve Health Outcomes" -- U. Wisconsin, UNC
  • "Excess Capacity: Markets, Regulation, and Values" -- UW
  • "Mergers and Acquisitions: Lessons from Other Industries" -- Northwestern
  • "Physician Practice Management Companies" -- Pennsylvania, UCB
  • "Clinical Service Lines in Integrated HealthCare Delivery Systems" -- Boston U./Veteran's Administration
  • "The Paradox of Physicians and Administrators in Health Care Organizations: Explorations in Complex Adaptive Systems" -- Samaritan Health System
  • "Financial Decision-Making in Health Care Systems" -- Michigan
  • "E-Health" -- HealthCentral.com

Special Center Activities
The Center disseminates information about its research by holding Dissemination Conferences that bring together multiple members of each of the corporate sponsors and research organizations.

The Working Paper Series is another means by which the Center disseminates information. The Working Paper Series is a series of papers resulting from the Center's ongoing and recently completed projects. The papers are distributed to the corporate and affiliate sponsors, research organizations, and faculty members for their review and comments. After the members review and comment on the papers, they may be submitted to professional journals. Many of these papers have been published in professional journals.

Research results and findings also are incorporated into teaching programs on the member university campuses, thus benefiting the students in their respective programs.

1Co-sponsored project
2Special NSF initiative

Center Headquarters
Center for Health Management Research
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Department of Health Services, Box 357660
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7660
Tel (206) 616-2923 * Fax (206) 221-5243

Center Director: Prof. Douglas A. Conrad

Center Co-Director: Prof. Thomas G. Rundall
(510) 642-4606 * trundall@uclink2.berkeley.edu

Center Evaluator: David A. Tansik, PhD
520-621-1710 * dtansik@bpa.arizona.edu

NSF 01-168tt


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