A CHERISH pilot grantee in 2019, she worked closely with her co-investigators Benjamin Linas, CHERISH Population Data and Modeling Core director, and Shashi Kapadia, a CHERISH Research Affiliate and an infectious diseases physician at Weill Cornell Medicine, to analyze claims data from Truven Analytics Marketscan, and investigate the unintended or spillover effects restrictive Medicaid policies have on commercially insured individuals. Since the conclusion of her CHERISH pilot grant experience, Epstein continues to apply economic evaluation methods to her research.
“Health economics is a powerful tool to help reach program administrators and policymakers to point out what interventions are not only clinically effective, but are also feasible to fund with the resources available. Health economics studies can predict realistic strategies to eliminate infectious diseases and reduce negative health outcomes such as opioid overdoses and deaths. The pilot grant experience – the skills learned, the mentorship I received, and the analysis I completed – helped build the foundation for my NIH/NIDA career development award,” Epstein said.
In her latest NIH/NIDA career-development project, Epstein aims to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of introducing interventions in perinatal care to reduce opioid-related mortality and HCV transmission.