University Scholars Program Student Published in UF’s Journal of Undergraduate Research

69173998DeinaBossa.jpgresizeDeina Bossa, a current M.D. candidate and former undergraduate participant in the University Scholars Program with the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, was published in the Spring 2015 issue of the University of Florida’s Journal of Undergraduate Research. Her paper, “Explaining State Variation in Medicaid Expenditures,” discusses the factors affecting per capita and per enrollee Medicaid spending across the United States. Bossa’s academic advisor was Jill Herndon, Ph.D., a former faculty member in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy.

Bossa found that the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) formula used to decrease the financial burden of Medicaid on low-income states may not sufficiently reduce this burden because states still experience large decreases in per enrollee Medicaid spending as their low-income populations increase. Therefore, she suggests enacting policies that would more adequately reflect the financial burden of Medicaid on low income states, such as adjusting the FMAP formula to include state revenue relative to the national average instead of per capita income relative to the national average. This may reduce the drop in per enrollee Medicaid spending that occurs in states with more low-income individuals, which may in turn improve access to services among Medicaid enrollees in those states.

Bossa had this to say about her experience with the Department of Health outcomes & Policy: “As a University Scholars Program participant, I gained firsthand experience on all elements of scientific research. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Jill Herndon, I formulated a research question, submitted my first IRB proposal, collected and analyzed data, presented my findings at various conferences, and now published my first paper. As a medical student at UF College of Medicine, I have been involved in the Health Outcomes & Policy as well as the Patient Safety and Quality Discovery Pathways Program and will be completing a patient safety and quality research project in my fourth year. My exposure to research methods in HOP has given me all the tools necessary to be successful in my future research endeavors. Thank you to the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy for sponsoring me as an undergraduate student and giving me the opportunity to work with a mentor who has provided me with tremendous support and to whom I owe much of my success.”

Bossa also had the opportunity to present her findings to peers and faculty at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, UF Undergraduate Research Symposium, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the UF College of Medicine Celebration of Research.