International Conference on Health Policy Statistics Convenes in Philadelphia January 17-18

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The 7th International Conference on Health Policy Statistics (ICHPS): Striving for Consensus on Methods, a scientific conference sponsored by the Health Policy Statistics Section (HPSS) of the American Statistical Association (ASA), will convene January 17-18 in Philadelphia. The focus of this year's conference is on the interplay between health policy and research methodology. The keynote speaker is Mark Pauly, health insurance policy expert and professor at the Wharton School. Program and registration information is at http://www.amstat.org/meetings/ichps/2008 Keynote speaker is Mark Pauly, health insurance policy expert; conference focus is on the interplay between health policy and research methodology.

The 7th International Conference on Health Policy Statistics (ICHPS): Striving for Consensus on Methods, a scientific conference sponsored by the Health Policy Statistics Section (HPSS) of the American Statistical Association (ASA), will convene January 17-18 in Philadelphia. The focus of this year's conference is on the interplay between health policy and research methodology.

The specific aim of the conference is to create an educational research forum for statisticians, psychometricians, and other experts in research methodology to exchange and build upon ideas, discuss research needs, and develop solutions to methodological challenges. These methodologies are aimed toward improving outcomes, measurement, quality, access to, and cost and utilization of health-care services, as well as toward better understanding of special needs or understudied populations, including women and minorities.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Mark Pauly, Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Pauly will speak on "Data on Risk and Insurance Financing in a World of Decentralized Health Reform." Pauly, an expert in health insurance policy, is a former commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission and a former member of the advisory committee to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. Most recently, he was a member of the Medicare Technical Advisory Panel, and he is an active member of the Institute of Medicine.

Sessions to be presented during the conference include those listed below; complete registration and program information is available on the ASA web site at http://www.amstat.org/meetings/ichps/2008.

  • Economic Assessments in Randomized Trials -- a panel session featuring Henry Glick, Daniel Polsky, and Jalpa Doshi from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Conceptual Issues (and Practical Implications) in Measuring Health Disparities, a session featuring discussion of the following topics: Can we actually measure health disparities? (Attorney James Patrick Scanlan), Measuring Disparities in Healthy People 2010 (Kenneth G Keppel, National Center for Health Statistics), and Using the concentration index to measure disparities in binary variables (Adam Wagstaff, Development Research Group, The World Bank). Discussant: Alan M. Zaslavsky, Harvard University
  • Causal Methods: Advances and Applications in Health, a session featuring discussion of the following: Defining "baseline" using propensity score matching: Application to a clinical trial (Elizabeth A. Stuart, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health); Propensity Scores and Multiple Treatments: Application to CAHPS Health Care Ratings (Marc N. Elliott, The RAND Corporation); Intervening on Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease: An Application of the Parametric G-Formula (Sarah Taubman, University of Pennsylvania); and Gangs and Teen Violence: A Matched Analysis using Trajectory Groups and Propensity Scores (Amelia Haviland, RAND Corporation). A floor discussion will follow the presentations.
  • Hierarchical and Joint Longitudinal and Survival Modeling Using WinBUGS, a session featuring Bradley P. Carlin of the University of Minnesota.

In addition to invited and contributed talks, workshops on statistical methods and introductions to important national research databases will be offered in conjunction with the conference. The workshops provide research training and career development for senior and junior researchers.

About the ASA Section on Health Policy Statistics:
The Health Policy Statistics Section of the ASA was founded in 1994 with the primary objective of improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care in the United States and abroad through the systematic use of quantitative statistical methods. HPSS fosters the development of statistical methods specifically designed for health care and policy decision-making by organizing and sponsoring conferences and workshops on methodological issues relevant to health care and policy research. Section members also cooperate with government agencies to develop new ways to analyze their data, offering assistance to legislators and their staffs with their decision-making process.

About the American Statistical Association:
The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and educational society founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. For 168 years, ASA has been providing its membership (currently 18,000) serving in academia, government, and industry and the public with up-to-date, useful information about statistics. The ASA has a proud tradition of service to statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the association's web site at http://www.amstat.org or call 703.684.1221.

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