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HEPL 10th Anniversary event
Date: Thursday 22 October 2015
Time: 18:00 - 19:45 
Venue: LSE

An event to mark the 10th anniversary of Health Economics Policy and Law will take place at the London School of Economics from 18:00 - 19:45 on Thursday 22 October 2015. The programme will begin with some words about HEPL from Patrick McCartan of Cambridge University Press.

There will then be short statements from some of the members of HEPL’s International Advisory Board on what they think the biggest challenges will be in health care policy, either from the perspective of their own country or internationally, over the next 10 years. The presenters reflect the mix of disciplinary perspectives on which HEPL focuses (i.e. economics, political science and law), and will include:

Isabelle Durand-Zaleski, University of Paris XII
Giovanni Fattore, Bocconi University
Scott  Greer, University of Michigan
Vassilis Hatzopoulos, Democritis University of Thrace
Jan-Kees Helderman, Radboud University Nijmegen
Tamara Hervey, University of Sheffield
Martin Knapp, LSE
Julian Le Grand, LSE
Richard Saltman, Emory University
Mark Stabile, University of Toronto
Karsten Vrangbaek, University of Copenhagen
Albert Weale, University College London
Winnie Yip, University of Oxford

Following these short presentations, there will be 30 minutes for comments/questions from the audience, and then a reception to which all audience members are welcome. The event will be accompanied by publication of a 10th anniversary special issue of HEPL, where members of the International Advisory Board will reflect on a selection of HEPL’s output over the past decade.

The event is free to attend, but there will be a limit to available places. Places can be booked simply by sending a brief email to Adam Oliver (|) indicating your desire to attend. Please feel free to forward to those whom you think might be interested.

Care Trajectories for Newly Admitted Skilled Nursing Facility Patients
Thursday 4 June 2015
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, NAB LG.01, New Academic Building, LSE
Speaker: Professor Edward Norton

Although it is well established that larger skilled nursing facilities have lower per-patient costs due to economies of scale, it is not known if they also achieve higher quality outcomes.  Knowing this would be important both for patients choosing high quality nursing homes, and for regulators who use certificate-of-need (CON) regulations to limit the number of nursing facilities, indirectly resulting in larger nursing homes in states with CON regulations (by 20 beds, on average).  Because unobserved characteristics may be correlated with both an individual’s choice of a large nursing home and the quality of that nursing home care, we control for endogeneity of number of beds. We apply a novel instrument by exploiting the average size of SNFs selected by previous patients from the originating hospital. With this instrument, we mimic randomization of residents into more or less "exposure" to larger nursing homes when estimating the effects of size on the quality of care for the post-acute nursing home population.  Using national Minimum Data Set assessments linked with Medicare claims, we use a national cohort of residents who were newly admitted to nursing homes in 2009. The instrumental variables analyses examine the effect of facility size on competing risk-adjusted, person-level short-stay measures of quality over the 180 days following admission.  After instrumenting for facility size, we found that size is unrelated to mortality.

Professor Norton is a leading expert on long-term care and has significant research experience in this field. Professor Norton joined the University of Michigan in 2008 as Professor in both the SPH Department of Health Management and Policy and in the Department of Economics. He is the Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, and a Research Affiliate of the Population Studies Center. In addition to his affiliations with the University of Michigan, Edward is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Health Economics Program.

Lunch will be available in the NAB Lower Ground Foyer at 13.00.

To register for this free seminar, please click here|.  


International perspectives on integration and care coordination
Friday 20 March 2015
Time: 12:30 - 13:30
Venue:  32L LG.04
Speaker: Ellen Nolte, European Observatory of Health Systems and Policy, LSE

The rising burden of chronic illness, in particular the rapid increase in the number of people with multiple health problems, is a challenge to health systems globally. Associated premature mortality and reduced physical functioning, along with higher use of health services and related costs, are among the key concerns faced by policy-makers and practitioners.

There is a clear need to redesign delivery systems in order to better meet the needs created by chronic conditions, moving from the traditional, acute and episodic model of care to one that better coordinates professionals and institutions and actively engages service users and their carers. Many countries have begun this process but it has been difficult to reach conclusions about the best approach to take: care models are highly context-dependent and scientifically rigorous evaluations have been lacking. 

This seminar explores some of the key issues, ranging from interpreting the evidence base to assessing the policy context for, and approaches to, chronic disease management across Europe. Drawing on a study of chronic disease management in Europe, the presentation provides insights into the range of care models and the people involved in delivering these; payment mechanisms and service user access; and challenges faced by countries in the implementation and evaluation of these novel approaches.

The video of this seminar can be viewed here|.

The importance of perinatal mental health for child development; the individual, social and economic costs
Date: Wednesday 18 February 2015
Time:  12:30 - 13:30
Venue:  TW2 2.04
Speaker: Vivette Glover, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Mental health is the most neglected aspect of maternity care. This is important both for the mother herself and for the development of her foetus and her child. Anxiety and depression are as common during pregnancy as postnatally, and can have long lasting effects on foetal development, by foetal programming.  There is an increased risk of a wide range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive problems in the child. Some of these are risk factors in turn for late criminal behaviour.  If the mother is in the top 15% of the population for symptoms of antenatal anxiety or depression, this doubles the risk of her child having a probable mental disorder at the age of 13 years, after allowing for a wide range of confounders including postnatal maternal mood and parenting style. Most children are not affected and those that are can be affected in different ways.  This depends, at least in part, on the particular genetic vulnerabilities of each child, and the quality of the postnatal care. 

We are starting to understand some of the biological mechanisms that underlie foetal programming. The function of the placenta, for example, changes in response to maternal anxiety and depression, allowing more of the stress hormone cortisol to pass through; this in turn changes the development of the foetal brain. Possible evolutionary explanations for this will be discussed.  The recent LSE report “The costs of perinatal mental health problems” has estimated that perinatal mental health per year’s births in the UK costs a total of £8.1 billion. Over two thirds of this is because of long term effects on the child. Improving the quality of perinatal mental health care would considerably reduce costs to the public sector as well as improving the health of the next generation.

The video of this seminar can be viewed here|

Avoidable harm, unwarranted variation and diffusion in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction
Wednesday 4 February 2015
Time:  12:30 - 13:30
Venue:  TW2 2.04
Speaker: Duncan McPherson, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and University College London

There is geographic variation within England in the ability of people suffering a heart attack to access the best treatment for that heart attack. The extent and nature of this variation is described, including the definition of a new health geography based on catchment areas for hospital treatments. This variation leads to variation in the probability of survival based on unwarranted geographic factors which is also described. During the last twenty five years' use of a new treatment, primary angioplasty for heart attack has been spreading throughout England. This means that to understand the variation, it is necessary to take account of temporal as well as geographic variation. Complex bayesian spatio-temporal models describe the factors relevant in determining access to treatment. It is suggested that this is an example of a more general process of variation in the propensity of parts of the healthcare system to adopt innovations and that this variation is driven by social networks rather than central policy.  


  • SSCR event - Research showcase: Loneliness, prevention and wellbeing Date: Friday 17 April 2015
    Time: 10:00 - 16:00
    Venue: LSE
    This research showcase – jointly hosted by the NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) and the Campaign to End Loneliness - focused on research into loneliness, social isolation, wellbeing and prevention. This event was an opportunity for delegates to:
    • Hear about research findings focusing on loneliness, isolation, prevention and wellbeing across the life-course
    • Improve understanding of wellbeing and loneliness, and take away ideas about how to make positive changes, for example to social care commissioning or service provision
    • Network with colleagues working in similar areas
    • Identify and discuss some of the gaps in the current research base on loneliness and isolation.
  • NIHR School for Social Care Research Annual Conference
    24 March 2015
    Time: 09:45 - 16:30
    Venue: New Academic Building, London School of Economics
    The NIHR School for Social Care Research's Annual Conference brought together researchers, policy-makers, managers, commissioners, providers, people who use services, carers and practitioners, among others and provide an opportunity to hear about emerging evidence from across SSCR’s commissioned studies and implications for adult social care practice. The Conference featured contributions from experts and practice colleagues in the adult social care field, and brought together presentations on findings from across our funded studies, and their implications for practice
  • ALPHA Research Seminar: Maternal age and child’s birth weight: a cross cohort comparison in the UK
    Wednesday 18 March 2015
    Time: 12:00 - 13:00
    Venue: 32L.G.06
    Speaker: Alice Goisis
    The nature and consequences of childbearing at advanced maternal ages have changed considerably over time, but there is limited evidence showing this process and its potential consequences for child health. In this study, we undertake a cross-cohort comparison using data from five UK birth cohort studies (1946, 1958, 1970, ALSPAC and the MCS) to investigate how the selection mechanisms associated with advanced maternal age and its association with child health (low birth weight) have changed over time. Preliminary results show that advanced maternal age has, across the cohorts, gradually become more selective of advantaged mothers and, possibly as a consequence, less likely to be negatively associated with child health at birth.
  • PSSRU Literary Festival Discussion: Perceptions of Madness: understanding mental illness through art, literature and drama
    Wednesday 25 February 2015
    Time: 17:00 - 18:30
    Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
    Speakers included: Dr Sarah Carr, Paul Farmer, Nathan Filer, Dr John McGowan
    Chair: Professor Martin Knapp

    How mental illness is portrayed in art, literature and on TV can have a positive or negative effect on how the public perceives mental ill health. Representations of people with mental health problems can range from the mad psychotic criminal to people within their daily lives dealing with depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  This panel discussion explored how such presentations of mental illness can affect public understanding of mental ill health with insights from research and personal experiences.

    This event formed part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015, taking place from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 February 2015, with the theme 'Foundations'. The video of the event can be viewed here.

Click here| to see full list of past events