DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION MEDICINE
Department of Population Medicine (DPM) at
Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
401 Park Drive, Suite 401E
Boston, MA 02215
The Department's core mission is to improve the health of individuals through research and teaching focused on patient populations and the health systems affecting their care, in partnership with health plans, delivery systems, and public health agencies. Department faculty are national leaders in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and skills essential to maximizing the health of defined populations within available resources.
The DPM resides within the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (HPHCI) and is an appointing department of Harvard Medical School. The DPM conducts research that informs people at all levels of our health care system, from government officials to private citizens faced with day-to-day choices about how to maintain their own health. We inform policy makers who make decisions about insurance coverage, reimbursement policies, and population health, and individual clinicians and patients who need reliable evidence about what treatments and medications work best for specific conditions. Our affiliation with Harvard Medical School and Point32Health, a large not-for-profit health insurance company with diverse enrollees across New England, gives us a prime opportunity to study specific patient populations and integrate our findings into the health care setting and educational curriculum. Point32Health is the corporate parent of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan and has 2.2 million diverse members across New England. The DPM has access to health care claims and demographic and administrative data for Point32Health members who are insured in HMO, PPO, POS, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Enhanced supplemental, Marketplace, and Medicare managed care products.
The DPM’s Harvard-appointed faculty investigate issues such as precision medicine & policy, cancer screening and prevention, health policy, medication safety and effectiveness, obesity prevention, nutrition, maternal and child health, vaccination policy, health care disparities, public health surveillance, and uses of electronic medical record technology.
In addition, the DPM sponsors teaching programs for medical students and residents that instill both clinical skills and a sound knowledge of public and population health issues, including innovations in science and medicine, health care insurance systems, clinical epidemiology, and disease prevention. We also have a thriving set of national partnerships for collaborative research and an international program that seeks to create better access to health care and medicine in developing countries.
The Department of Population Medicine is located in the Landmark Center, within walking distance of the Longwood Medical Area, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and just down the street from Fenway Park.
A few examples from recent Fellows' research include:
· Rates of “churn” off of Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic
· Opiate prescribing rates and complications in a national database
· Outcomes of lap banding vs. gastric bypass surgery
· Maternal fish intake, mercury, and offspring cognition
· Clinician predictors of ordering low-value care.
· Weight gain in pregnancy and risk of maternal hyperglycemia
· Stress and weight gain in midlife
· Body mass index and proximity to food establishments over 30 years in the Framingham Heart Study
· Impact of a price increase on sales of sugary soft drinks
· Computerized decision alert to reduce prescribing of heavily marketed medications
· Physician dissatisfaction, isolation, work-life stress and quality of care