The International Health Economics Association (iHEA) Student Prize is to recognize excellence by students in the field of health economics. The 2019 Prize is being awarded to the student paper by Monica Aswani, "Differential Impact of Hospital and Community Factors on Medicare Readmission Penalties”. The paper seeks to identify characteristics and sources of regional heterogeneity associated with readmission penalties. Using a hierarchical model it finds if readmission risk adjustment does not include any community level characteristics or geographic controls, the resulting endogeneity bias has the potential to disparately penalize providers. Her paper was selected over 40 other international entries.

Dr. Aswani is a recent DrPH graduate from the department of Health Care Organization & Policy at UAB’s School of Public Health and will be traveling to Basel, Switzerland this summer to present her work in a special student prize organized session.

She now serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at UAB. Her research employs econometric methods to investigate how national payment reform efforts relate to the quality of and disparities in healthcare delivery. Her work has been published in Health Services Research, Journal for Healthcare Quality, and the Annual Review of Medicine. Prior to joining the School of Health Professions, she also contributed to healthcare quality and patient safety projects at Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization. She received her MSPH and DrPH from UAB and her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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