People: Staff Scientists

Biostatistician, Med/BMIR
Biostatistician 2, Med/Quantitative Sciences Unit


  • Effect of Medicare's Nonpayment Policy on Surgical Site Infections Following Orthopedic Procedures. Infection control and hospital epidemiology Kwong, J. Z., Weng, Y., Finnegan, M., Schaffer, R., Remington, A., Curtin, C., McDonald, K. M., Bhattacharya, J., Hernandez-Boussard, T. 2017: 1-6


    OBJECTIVE Orthopedic procedures are an important focus in efforts to reduce surgical site infections (SSIs). In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) stopped reimbursements for additional charges associated with serious hospital-acquired conditions, including SSI following certain orthopedic procedures. We aimed to evaluate the CMS policy's effect on rates of targeted orthopedic SSIs among the Medicare population. DESIGN We examined SSI rates following orthopedic procedures among the Medicare population before and after policy implementation compared to a similarly aged control group. Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database for 2000-2013, we estimated rate ratios (RRs) of orthopedic SSIs among Medicare and non-Medicare patients using a difference-in-differences approach. RESULTS Following policy implementation, SSIs significantly decreased among both the Medicare and non-Medicare populations (RR, 0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.6-0.8) and RR, 0.8l; 95% CI, 0.7-0.9), respectively. However, the estimated decrease among the Medicare population was not significantly greater than the decrease among the control population (RR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.8-1.1). CONCLUSIONS While SSI rates decreased significantly following the implementation of the CMS nonpayment policy, this trend was not associated with policy intervention but rather larger secular trends that likely contributed to decreasing SSI rates over time. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;1-6.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/ice.2017.86

    View details for PubMedID 28487001

Data Engineer Lead, SoM - IRT Research Technology


  • Utilization and effectiveness of multimodal discharge analgesia for postoperative pain management. The Journal of surgical research Desai, K., Carroll, I., Asch, S. M., Seto, T., McDonald, K. M., Curtin, C., Hernandez-Boussard, T. 2018; 228: 160–69


    BACKGROUND: Although evidence-based guidelines recommend a multimodal approach to pain management, limited information exists on adherence to these guidelines and its association with outcomes in a generalized population. We sought to assess the association between discharge multimodal analgesia and postoperative pain outcomes in two diverse health care settings.METHODS: We evaluated patients undergoing four common surgeries associated with high pain in electronic health records from an academic hospital (AH) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Multimodal analgesia at discharge was characterized as opioids in combination with acetaminophen (O+A) and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory (O+A+N) drugs. Hierarchical models estimated associations of analgesia with 45-d follow-up pain scores and 30-d readmissions.RESULTS: We identified 7893 patients at AH and 34,581 at VHA. In both settings, most patients were discharged with O+A (60.6% and 54.8%, respectively), yet a significant proportion received opioids alone (AH: 24.3% and VHA: 18.8%). Combining acetaminophen with opioids was associated with decreased follow-up pain in VHA (Odds ratio [OR]: 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79, 0.93) and readmissions (AH OR: 0.74, CI: 0.60, 0.90; VHA OR: 0.89, CI: 0.82, 0.96). Further addition of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs was associated with further decreased follow-up pain (AH OR: 0.71, CI: 0.53, 0.96; VHA OR: 0.77, CI: 0.69, 0.86) and readmissions (AH OR: 0.46, CI: 0.31, 0.69; VHA OR: 0.84, CI: 0.76, 0.93). In both systems, patients receiving multimodal analgesia received 10%-40% less opioids per day compared to opioids only.CONCLUSIONS: A majority of surgical patients receive a multimodal pain approach at discharge yet many receive only opioids. Multimodal regimen at discharge was associated with better follow-up pain and all-cause readmissions compared to the opioid-only regimen.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2018.03.029

    View details for PubMedID 29907207