School of public health

The implications of instability in Medicaid markets

Millions of Americans with Medicaid coverage were affected when their insurance plans exited state Medicaid programs from 2006 to 2014, highlighting potential instability in these markets for Medicaid beneficiaries and the quality of care received. A YSPH study led by Chima Ndumele, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, demonstrates the challenges states face while trying to improve existing Medicaid coverage. The study suggests that beneficiaries should have the option to keep their current primary care provider. The study appeared in JAMA.

SBS granted department status

YSPH welcomed its newest department—the Social and Behavioral Sciences department (SBS)—on July 1. SBS provides an interdisciplinary understanding of social and behavioral sciences with an emphasis on the individual, interpersonal, community, and structural influences on health, illness, and recovery. Faculty research topics focus on eliminating barriers to health, particularly in marginalized groups. These may include a diverse range of subjects such as HIV/AIDS, aging, mental health, maternal and child health, and other pressing challenges in public health. The department is chaired by Professor Trace Kershaw.

Acupuncture and live birth rates

In a surprising finding, a collaboration among researchers in China, the United States, and Europe reveals that acupuncture is ineffective in improving live birth rates in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, contrary to prevailing wisdom and common practice. Heping Zhang, the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics, co-led this study through the Yale Collaborative Center for Statistics in Science. The trial tested 1,000 Chinese women diagnosed with PCOS. Each woman received acupuncture treatment, either with clomiphene, or with a placebo. The results showed no interaction between clomiphene and acupuncture that led to a higher birth rate. The study appeared in JAMA.    

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