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Health Care Financing & Economics (HCFE)


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Julia Prentice, Ph.D. HCFE Director

Julia Prentice, received her Ph.D. in Community Health Sciences from the University of California—Los Angeles School of Public Health. After completing a VA-funded post-doctoral fellowship, she joined the Health Care Financing and Economics group as a Health Scientist. Dr. Prentice currently holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Prentice’s research specializes in identifying the causal effects between access to care, health insurance choice, treatment options and health outcomes.

Her previous work was the first to highlight the significant relationship between longer administrative wait time capacity measures and poorer individual-level health outcomes including mortality, preventable hospitalizations and A1c levels for elderly veterans and veterans diagnosed with diabetes. She frequently consults with senior VA policymakers in the VHA Access and Clinic Administration Program to identify administrative access measures that predict higher patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes. Currently, she is evaluating the implementation of the clinic practice management training program that was required by the Choice Act. She is also leading a randomized program evaluation that examines the impact of mobile applications to increase teledermatology use. Increasing virtual health is a key goal of the myVA Access initiative.

Dr. Prentice’s second line of research compares the effectiveness of different medications or clinical practices used to treat a variety of common conditions. Her previous work developed a novel instrumental variable methodology using observational data to determine the effect of different treatments for Type 2 diabetes on long-term health outcomes. These methods are currently being applied to a comparative effectiveness study examining medications for atrial fibrillation and a study examining the impact of increased glycated hemoglobin (A1c) variability on long-term health outcomes.


Health Care Financing & Economics (152H)
VA Boston Healthcare System Research & Development
150 South Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA  02130
Voice:  (857) 364-6057
Fax:  (857) 364-4511