Arun Sen

Arun Sen

Information and Operations Management | Healthcare

One of the biggest opportunities that our country’s healthcare system has is for the industry to run systematically. If you’ve ever had to leave a network, switch doctors, or wait for lab results to go from one provider to another, you know that there is room for improvement. Enter Arun Sen, Ph.D., Mays Business School professor and academic researcher in the area of healthcare delivery and operations.

With a heavy focus on improving healthcare delivery management, or the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver healthcare services to meet the health needs of target populations, the goal is to make healthcare more effective and efficient.

Sen originally started working on finding a solution to the healthcare delivery management problem in 2010 when he, along with ARCHI (A&M Rural and Community Health Institute) in the College of Medicine and College of Engineering, was awarded a $7.2M research grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Together, they were tasked to build a Regional Extension Center (REC) to help 1000 providers in the East-Central Texas region achieve Meaningful Use (an industry standard measure) of their Electronic Health Records (EHR) system.

Healthcare is a grand-challenge for Mays, as well as the world. It seems as though everyone is trying to figure out how to make healthcare systems truly healthy, caring, and systematic. Sen’s latest high-impact research has focused on Readmission Management and on the Healthcare Information Exchanges (HIE) Planning — both areas with high societal impact. Readmission Management focuses on studying what causes patient readmissions and how a patient’s past encounters in a hospital may affect the likelihood of a patient’s readmission. Most people don’t know, but Centers for Medicare / Medicaid Service (CMS) typically penalize hospitals if readmission numbers are abnormal. The penalties start from 1% and can go up to 5% if a patient seeks Medicare reimbursement. And who pays for public hospitals? Taxpayers.

Sen uses data analytics to improve social impact. The general public has many interactions with HIE whether they realize it or not. The Healthcare Information Exchanges facilitate the electronic transfer of patient records among healthcare organizations. Anytime a patient’s information needs to be distributed, a HIE could be used. However, despite the fact that many studies have proven HIEs could save billions of dollars a year, a large portion of the U.S. healthcare industry has yet to adopt them. Sen and his co-researchers are using operations research and data analytics tools to understand and make these HIEs a sustainable and long-term solution.

Learn more about Sen: tx.ag/MaysSen

Published Work

Impact of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) on Hospital Readmission and Mortality: An Economic Analysis

Sustainability of Healthcare Information Exchanges: A Theoretic Approach