Dr. Cole is a Peter Paul Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management and co-director of the BU Medicaid Policy Lab. She is a health services researcher whose work uses econometric methods to study the effects of Medicaid policy and care delivery models on Medicaid and other low-income, safety-net populations, especially those served by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). She is particularly interested in how state- and federal-level health policy affects insurance coverage, quality of care, access to care, and racial equity of care for these populations. Most of this work leverages large datasets, including national Medicaid claims data; All Payer Claims Data; Electronic Health Record data; and national and statewide patient survey data.
Recent and ongoing work includes: Examining the impact of Medicaid expansion on coverage, quality of care, access to care, and equity within low-income populations, especially those served by community health centers; Understanding organizational and policy drivers of quality, access, and equity within community health centers and other safety-net providers; Evaluating how Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) affect quality of care and address social needs; Understanding the role of under-insurance (e.g., high deductible health plans) in access to care for low-income, racial/ethnic minority, and other marginalized populations; Evaluating the impact of integrating behavioral health into pediatric primary care among Medicaid-enrolled children at community health centers; and Evaluating how rapid adoption of telehealth across FQHCs during COVID-19 may mitigate, or exacerbate, disparities in quality of care among Medicaid-enrollees served by FQHCs.
Dr. Cole completed her PhD in Health Services Research at Brown University School of Public Health and received an MPH in Health Policy from Yale University School of Public Health. She previously worked in research consulting, where she worked with state and federal agencies on issues relating to Medicaid policy and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Her work has been covered by outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Vox, US News & World Report, and Forbes.