Molly M. Jeffery, Ph.D., is a health economist and health services researcher who studies how people use health care and health insurance. Much of Dr. Jeffery's work involves using very large databases of administrative data, including health insurance claims and electronic medical records. She is particularly interested in the choices patients and physicians make and how they affect both patient and system outcomes such as health status, cost and spending, and sustainability.
Dr. Jeffery serves as the scientific director of Mayo Clinic's Division of Emergency Medicine Research, helping to design and conduct clinical trials, quality initiatives, and large database studies aimed at understanding and improving the care patients receive in the emergency department.
- Using administrative data to gain insight into the opioid epidemic. Dr. Jeffery uses data from health insurance claims and electronic medical records to generate insight into the use of prescription opioids in the United States. Her work has included analysis of where people get their first opioid prescription (such as the Emergency Department, a surgeon or their primary care provider), and how it is associated with their risk of long-term opioid use. She has also studied the impact of policy interventions on patients' use of opioids and other pain treatment methods.
- Emergency department care. Dr. Jeffery and colleagues developed the Minnesota Algorithm, which measures whether an emergency department visit could have been treated in primary care. She is also involved in studies of factors affecting the number of patients who leave the emergency department without being seen; treatment of children presenting to the emergency department with pain; ambulance transport and EMS services; and treatment of opioid use disorder in the emergency department.
- Health care needs and gaps in services provided to vulnerable patient groups. Dr. Jeffery is interested in understanding the needs of patients at risk for poor outcomes. Some of the issues she has studied include the potential underuse of omalizumab, a biologic used to treat asthma uncontrolled by standard treatments; people with diabetes at risk for readmission due to poor care transitions; and Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries lacking access to primary care.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Jeffery's research helps improve patient care by generating insights on how health care services and policies affect patients and clinicians. Her work has helped to identify areas where patient care and safety can and should be improved in the United States, including high-risk opioid prescribing practices.