Niall Brennan, BA, MPP, President and CEO.

Mr. Brennan was appointed President and Executive Director of HCCI in June 2017. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing HCCI’s advancements in price transparency and public reporting, increasing both the comprehensiveness and access to HCCI’s expansive data set, as well as working with state policy and decision makers to improve their health care systems. He is a nationally recognized expert in health care policy, the use of health care data to enable and accelerate health system change, and data transparency. He has published widely in leading academic journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs. Prior to joining HCCI, Mr. Brennan was Chief Data Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He has also worked at the Brookings Institution, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the Congressional Budget Office, the Urban Institute, and Price WaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Brennan received his MPP from Georgetown University and his BA from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Aaron Bloschichak, MPH, Research Assistant.

Mr. Bloschichak received his BS in Neuroscience and Public Health from Muhlenberg College, and MPH from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  His Capstone project at Dartmouth analyzed the consequences of an addition of a public option to the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Exchange.

Amanda Frost, PhD, Senior Researcher.

Dr. Frost is the lead author of the 2016 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, HCCI’s latest annual report on the privately insured. Her research has focused on the spending and utilization patterns of individuals diagnosed with diabetes, with a focus on children with diabetes. She has also worked on issues of out-of-pocket spending and consumer health care “shopping”, including the role of individuals in the “value” debate in health care. In addition to research, Dr. Frost also oversees the Academic Partnership Program and the Health Data for Action Grant Program.

Dr. Frost received her MA and PhD in Political Science from The University of Iowa.

Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, PhD, Senior Researcher.

Dr. Fuglesten Biniek’s research examines the role of medical innovation in health care spending growth. She also contributes to the development of HCCI’s Qualified Entity initiative. She previously worked as an economist on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee, where she advised the Chairman on Medicaid, Affordable Care Act implementation, and tax and economic policy issues. She has also held positions at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, NERA Economic Consulting, and Bienestar Human Services.

Dr. Fuglesten Biniek received her BA in Economics from the University of California Los Angeles, MA in Applied Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, and PhD in Health Policy with a concentration in Health Economics from Harvard University.

John Hargraves, BS, MPP, Senior Researcher.

Mr. Hargraves’ recent research has focused on trends in Medicare spending, hospice, and the impacts of social determinants and market factors on geographic variation in healthcare spending. Prior to joining HCCI, Mr. Hargraves was a researcher at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He has also worked at Optum Labs and the George Washington University.

Mr. Hargraves received his MPP from the George Washington University and his BS in Economics from Binghamton University.

Bill Johnson, PhD, Senior Researcher.

Dr. Johnson’s recent research has focused on the effects of health insurer and health care provider organization on health care providers’ use of costly treatments. Dr. Johnson has also published research estimating the shortages of the public provision of mental health services across localities in Virginia.

Dr. Johnson received his MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Kevin Kennedy, BA, BS, Researcher.

Mr. Kennedy works closely with other researchers on a wide variety of projects at HCCI. In his role as researcher, his responsibilities largely include data management and analysis. Additionally, he has co-authored multiple HCCI publications related to health care spending, utilization, and geographic price variation.

Mr. Kennedy received his BA in International Affairs and BS in Economics with a concentration in International Economics from The George Washington University.

Sally Rodriguez, BS, MPH, CSPO, SA, Chief of Staff.

Ms. Rodriguez directs HCCI’s product strategy to create impactful offerings in support of its mission. Prior to joining HCCI, Ms. Rodriguez served in a variety of healthcare research, consulting and product development roles, most recently leading product development for Avalere Health and previously conducting research with the Government Accountability Office and Center for the Study of Services. Her past research and product development work focused on providing business intelligence and insights related to the Medicare population to a variety of healthcare stakeholders.

Ms. Rodriguez received her BS in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California, and her MPH with a concentration in Policy from the George Washington University. She is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and SAFe Agilist (SA).

Sarah M Vermeland, BS, Operations Manager & Business Analyst.

Ms. Vermeland received her BS in Health & Society and Political Science at Beloit College. A portion of her undergraduate research concentrated on the influence of race on infant mortality rates in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Another portion of Ms. Vermeland’s research was focused on HIV/AIDS rates in Washington DC and different community based programs that could help address the growing issue.

Chao Zhou, PhD, Pharmaeconomics Research Fellow.

Before joining HCCI, Dr. Chao Zhou was an economist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC. Her research focuses on the interaction of behavioral economics, the health insurance market, and health care policy. At the CDC, Dr. Zhou conducted research on prescription opioid use. She is an expert in analyzing large scale health care claims data (Commercial, Medicare A, B, and D). Her research has been published in journals such as JAMA-Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, Medical Care, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on National Public Radio.

Dr. Zhou received her PhD in Economics from Boston University.