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Summaries of Independent Scientist (K) Awards

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Cooper, William

Institution: Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN
Grant Title: Medicaid MCO's and Suboptimal Pediatric Care
Grant Number: K02 HS13076
Duration: 3 years (2003-2006)
Total Award: $508,670

Project Description: The goal of this project was to examine the effect of Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) on access to specific recommended care for children with asthma, as individual MCOs may have conflicting incentives for authorizing care or providing resources for care. The study compared MCOs with respect to suboptimal use of preventive medications for asthma among approximately 24,000 children with moderate to serve asthma in Washington State and Tennessee. A Medicaid research database was used, linked with vital records and U.S. Census data in Washington State and Tennessee. 

Career Goals: Dr. Cooper is a pediatrician committed to improving equity in childhood healthcare outcomes, especially for low-income children enrolled in Medicaid. Dr. Cooper's career goals include:

  • To become a state-of-the-art health services researcher.
  • To establish a child health services research center.
  • To increase national visibility for child health services research in high-risk vulnerable children.

Progress to Date: This K grant was completed in 2006 and suggested that health plans can have an effect on quality of asthma care. Dr. Cooper suggests efforts to improve asthma management at the plan level might incorporate physician feedback about prescribing and notification of asthma events to providers.

Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:

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  • Professional Societies:
    • American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • Ambulatory Pediatrics Association.
    • Cumberland Pediatric Foundation.
    • Member, Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy; steering committee Child Health Services Research (CHSR).
    • Society for Pediatric Research.
  • Secured space and support for a Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit at Vanderbilt.
  • Mentoring and training of Unit faculty.
  • Extensive review of responsible research conduct for teaching of Vanderbilt's M.P.H. students in the Research Ethics course.
  • Continued service on the Research Committee of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, and asked to serve on the Executive Committee.
  • K-Generated Publications: None thus far.

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