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Elbert Huang, MD

Dr. Elbert Huang is a general internist who studies clinical and health care policy issues at the intersection of diabetes, aging, and health economics. His research examines the constraints, either clinical or financial, that health care providers encounter when caring for patients with chronic diseases. His main research focus is in the area of medical decision making for elderly patients with type 2 diabetes where uncertainty exists regarding how to best individualize diabetes treatments based on clinical parameters and patient preferences. Dr. Huang has developed a simulation model of type 2 diabetes specifically designed for elderly patients. Using this model, he is evaluating the impact of clinical heterogeneity on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of varying levels of glucose control. In related work, Dr. Huang and colleagues have conducted one of the largest studies of diabetes patient preferences, interviewing patients of different ethnic backgrounds in two Chicago locations. This data has provided insight into how diabetes patients weigh the relative burdens of living with comprehensive diabetes care versus life with complications. Dr. Huang has also led the evaluation of the costs and cost-effectiveness of the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Health Disparities Collaborative, a national quality improvement program for the nation’s federally-funded community health centers. This series of studies represents one of the first attempts to formally evaluate the economic value and impact of a quality improvement program. In other health economic evaluations, Dr. Huang is the lead University of Chicago investigator for the NORC-University of Chicago Health Economics Team for the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project.

Dr. Huang is a native of Wisconsin (a loyal Packer fan) and an Eagle Scout. He received his A.B., M.D., and M.P.H. from Harvard University and came to the University of Chicago in 2001.

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