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Emilie Duchesneau, PhD, MSPH

Duchesneau Emilie FSGVH24
Faculty Starter Grant in Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research, 2024 Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Evaluating the Suitability of Using Medicare Advantage Encounter Data for Geriatric Pharmacoepidemiology and Health Services Research


Older adults are underrepresented in randomized trials. Findings from studies based on “real-world” data are needed to understand intervention effects, use of health services, and outcomes in this population. Medicare data are a valuable source of real-world data for aging research. Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in fee-for-service (FFS) or Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. While FFS data have long been used for aging-related research, encounter data for MA beneficiaries first became available in 2019. Questions regarding their quality remain. Using a nationally-representative sample, our study will assess whether differences in the measurement of key aging variables for MA vs. FFS beneficiaries occur due to true underlying differences or due to data quality. We will then assess the validity of Medicare encounter-based frailty and dementia algorithms compared to gold standard measures. Our findings will improve the quality and generalizability of aging-related research.

Real-world evidence is needed to understand intervention effects and health outcomes in older adults. Through this PhRMA Foundation award, I will lead innovative research that improves the quality of aging research that leverages real world data, ultimately improving health and well-being in older adults.

Emilie Duchesneau, PhD, MSPH