News Home Page
News Releases
Faculty Experts
Campus Update
Campus Stock Photos
Media Relations Office


News Website



UAlbany School of Public Health to Study Association Between Health Care Costs and Outcomes in Cardiac Care

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 27, 2005) -- The University at Albany School of Public Health has been awarded a one-year, $100,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study the association between costs and outcomes in cardiac care procedures.

"The rising costs of health care have been of great concern to policymakers and the public for years," said Assistant Professor Shadi Saleh of the University's School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior. "Recent reports, most notably from the Institute of Medicine, have questioned the quality of care delivered in the U.S. Given the emerging interest in pay-for-performance programs, in which health care providers who provide higher quality care receive more money for services, it becomes very important to determine if there is an association between cost and quality of outcome."

The funded study is designed to determine if there would be possible financial benefits or additional costs associated with hospital-based, pay-for-performance programs, specifically for cardiac care procedures. The study is being conducted by Saleh and Distinguished Professor Edward Hannan, chair of the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior.

Saleh and Hannan selected cardiac care procedures for study because of the cost of the procedures and the significant increase in angioplasty in recent years. In fact, the total number of these cardiac procedures in the U.S. doubled between 1990 and 2001 to more than 1.6 million per year at a cost of $33 billion.

If the study finds no association or an inverse association between costs and outcomes, public and private payers will be in a position to contract with high-quality hospitals at current reimbursement levels without fear of an increase in adverse outcomes. On the other hand, if there is a positive association, they will be in a position to employ a pay-for-performance program under which higher cost hospitals that have higher quality of care are reimbursed at higher rates. These higher rates would subsidize the hospitals for their additional costs in providing such a level of care and, at the same time, serve as an incentive for them to continue to do so.

Through its partnership with the State Health Department, the University at Albany's School of Public Health offers students immediate access to internships at the Health Department, Albany Medical College and variety of other public and private health institutions throughout New York State. Students have unique access to study the most profound health issues facing us today: the threat of bioterrorism; the spread of HIV/AIDS and other emerging diseases; the lack of affordable and accessible healthcare for individuals and families; environmental hazards; substance abuse and social violence; maternal mortality in developing countries; the promises and threats of genetic engineering; protecting food and water supplies, research on genetics and genomics and their application to health care, and conducting health outcomes and patient safety research.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 16,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

Please send questions or comments about the UAlbany News site to: