Samuel (Sam) T. Savitz, Ph.D., is a health services researcher who analyzes factors related to undertreatment and overtreatment of health conditions and how care for individual patients can be optimized. Dr. Savitz primarily uses administrative claims data and electronic health records to evaluate interventional and noninterventional therapies to address chronic conditions. In particular, he is focused on improving care for patients with cardiovascular disease, including ischemic heart disease and heart failure.
- Identifying undertreatment and overtreatment. Dr. Savitz conducts research to identify undertreatment and overtreatment of health conditions. He assesses factors associated with medical decision-making with respect to patients with stable ischemic heart disease. For most patients, this condition can be treated with medication only; the use of percutaneous coronary intervention may be considered overtreatment for many patients. He has also studied factors related to low adherence to evidence-based medications.
- Evaluating the impact of social determinants of health. Dr. Savitz has worked to understand how social determinants affect health outcomes and utilization of health services. He has previously assessed the association between health literacy and medical decision-making among patients with stable ischemic heart disease. He has also examined factors that may explain racial and ethnic variation in mortality and hospitalization outcomes among heart failure patients.
- Using risk prediction to optimize patient care. Dr. Savitz is interested in using machine learning and predictive analytics to understand patients' potential outcomes given their characteristics. He is currently working on a project to predict health and utilization outcomes for patients receiving transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for treating aortic valve stenosis that has seen rapid increase in recent years. Despite the increase in volume, there are still important gaps in understanding which patients are most likely to benefit from TAVR.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Savitz's research identifies factors that prevent patients from receiving the appropriate level of care and addresses gaps in the understanding of which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. The results of his research have implications on how to optimize care for patients given their individual characteristics and treatment preferences.