Sarah Friedman, Ph.D., MSPH

Assistant Professor
Friedman, Sarah

Summary

Broadly, I study access to healthcare and behavioral health services among commercially-insured populations, as well as access to VA health care for women Veterans. My research applies quantitative, econometric methods to large administrative databases. Most recently I linked plan benefit design data with patient claims to examine the direct effects of financial requirements (e.g. copayments, coinsurance and deductibles), quantitative treatment limits (e.g. annual visit limits), and non-quantitative treatment limits (e.g. utilization management) on outpatient mental health utilization and expenditures. I have also studied how a national behavioral health parity law affected plan benefit generosity and use of behavioral health services among enrollees in a large, national, managed behavioral health organization, both overall, and among a sub-set with substance use disorder diagnoses.

Publications

  • Friedman SA, Phibbs CS, Schmitt SK, Hayes PM, Herrera L, Frayne SM. New women veterans in the VHA: a longitudinal profile. Womens Health Issues. 2011 Jul-Aug;21(4 Suppl):S103-11. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2011.04.025. PubMed PMID: 21724129.
  • Holmes GM, Pink GH, Friedman SA. The financial performance of rural hospitals and implications for elimination of the Critical Access Hospital program. J Rural Health. 2013 Spring;29(2):140-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2012.00425.x. PubMed PMID: 23551644.
  • Schmitt SK, Turakhia MP, Phibbs CS, Moos RH, Berlowitz D, Heidenreich P, Chiu VY, Go AS, Friedman SA, Than CT, Frayne SM. Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation: impact of mental illness. Am J Manag Care. 2015 Nov 1;21(11):e609-e617. PubMed PMID: 26735294.
  • Friedman SA, Frayne SM, Berg E, Hamilton AB, Washington DL, Saechao F, Maisel NC, Lin JY, Hoggatt KJ, Phibbs CS. Travel time and attrition from VHA care among women veterans: how far is too far? Medical Care. 2015 Apr;53(4 Suppl 1):S15-22. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000296. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4386926
  • Harwood JM, Azocar J, Thalmayer AG, Xu H, Ong M, Tseng CH, Wells KB, Friedman SA, Ettner SL. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Evaluation Study: Impact on Specialty Behavioral Healthcare Utilization and Spending Among Carve-In Enrollees. Medical Care. 2016 Feb;55(2):164-172. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000635. PubMed Central PMCID: 27632769
  • Friedman SA, Thalmayer AG, Azocar F, Xu H, Harwood JM, Ong M, Ettner SL. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) Evaluation Study: Impact on Mental Health Financial Requirements, Among Commercial "Carve-In" Plans. Health Services Research. 2016 Dec 12. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12614. (E-published ahead of print)
  • Thalmayer AG, Friedman SA, Azocar F, Harwood JM, Ettner SL. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) Evaluation Study: Impact on Quantitative Treatment Limits (QTLs). Psychiatric Services. 2017 May 1;68(5):435-442. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201600110. PubMed Central PMCID: 27974003
  • Friedman SA, Xu H, Azocar F, Harwood JM, Ettner SL. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Evaluation Study: Impact on Specialty Behavioral Healthcare Utilization and Spending Among Enrollees with Substance Use Disorders. Revised and Resubmitted to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2017 Sept. Volume 80:67-78.
  • Thalmayer AG, Harwood JM, Friedman S, Azocar F, Watson LA, Xu H, Ettner SL. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Evaluation Study: Impact on Nonquantitative Treatment Limits for Specialty Behavioral Health Care. Health Serv Res. 2018 May 8. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12871. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29740807.

Education

  • PhD, Health Policy and Management, University of California, Los Angeles, 2017
  • Master of Science in Public Health, Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2009
  • BS, Economics, Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College, 2005