Background 1) I worked in health insurance processing claims, approving prior authorizations, and educated people about their benefit package 2) I worked as an RN at drug treatment facility where I spent my day trying to get insurance companies to cover longer stays and certain medications 3) I had a situation where my dental insurance would not cover a teeth cleaning until the claim was denied by my medical insurance. It took months to get the claim paid 4) Current theory is that over utilization of the ER is one factor driving up healthcare costs.
One day I had the thought that all of these people newly covered by the affordable healthcare act don't know how to use insurance and will continue to use the ER. How do we get people in general to understand when to schedule with a clinic, urgent care, or go to the ER. This has been in my mind for several years. Recently I found an article about health insurance literacy. I want to work for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and create some national level initiative to educate people about insurance. Example: When I got pink eye I called my doctor and a RX was sent to the pharmacy. I bypassed his office, urgent care, and the ER. My friend got pink eye and lost hours out of his day in the ER AND who knows if he even spread it to someone else. Friend is an ER nurse and told me a patient who comes in several times a year via ambulance with an asthma attack. That how she refills hers RX. She gets d/c from the ER with an inhaler and when it runs out she comes back for another. When I looked at any researcher on an article close to this topic the have a MPH + something else. Most employees at the NIH have a MPH and a degree in something else. One component to Public Health is behavior medication of a group of people. This is directly in alignment with what is need for my PhD so that is why it is a big consideration in my plan.
I noticed that the closer a school is to Washington DC the more likely it is to have ties to the NIH via grants, scholarships, or faculty. Considering that is where I want to work that connection is important to me. The U of MN doesn't have that. Schools like Columbia, Penn State, and John Hopkins do. I just bought a house so I am not looking to move. I have been focusing on online programs so far. Out of all the faculty at the U of MN, I didn't really find anyone researching anything close to what I want to explore. I have looked at all the schools you applied to. They all have a lot to offer.