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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Measuring healthcare quality and the implications for pay-for-performance

Principal Investigator
Melissa Shauver


University of Michigan

Funding Mechanism
Scientific Essay Contest

Focus Area

Healthcare will be a decisive issue in the 2008 US presidential election. Over the upcoming months, the candidates' visions for future healthcare policies will be discussed, debated and dissected. In a December 2007 poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, healthcare
ranked second on a list of voters' most important issues. It is so important that 21% of Americans named healthcare as the single most important issue in their choice for president in this election.1 In contrast, in 2004, healthcare ranked only fourth among decisive issues, with
only 14% of those polled considering it the most important. The issue of healthcare has remained a major concern because restrictions and lack of access to affordable care have eroded the standard of living expected by many Americans.

Any discussion of healthcare is likely to touch upon a trio of topics: cost, access and quality. These topics weigh on the minds of healthcare consumers as well. A September 2007
CBS News poll found that 66% of registered voters reported that they were unsatisfied with the
quality of healthcare in the US. Another recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that
80% of respondents were worried about the worsening of the quality of the healthcare services
they receive. Furthermore, 81% of Americans reported that they were dissatisfied with the cost
of healthcare in the US, up from 62% in 2004.

There is much to be dissatisfied about. US healthcare spending is among the highest in the world, averaging $7,026 per person, or $2.1 trillion in 2006 and is growing at a rate of over 6.7% per year. Despite continually increasing expenditures, the US has not enjoyed the
quality that should be accompanied by this enormous investment. The stakes are high for various special interests groups to protect their "turf" in this battle for healthcare allocations. These interest groups, which include the government, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, consumer groups (such as the American Association of Retired Persons), employees of corporations, and ordinary consumers have competing interests that conflict with hospitals and physician organizations in their efforts to extract as much as possible from a fixed pie of healthcare expenditure.

The current system of US medical care is based on the free-market economic model in which supply and demand will create a mutually-beneficial market for both buyers and sellers. Noted Princeton Health Economist Dr. Uwe Reinhardt supports this free-market model. He
believes that competition in medicine is healthy and has the potential to give consumers the ability to choose among various providers for the highest quality of care. However he also realizes that medicine is a unique field that is influenced by government regulation, consumer
norms and market prices. In addition to not holding price in check, the existing US provider reimbursement system does not pay much attention to quality, but bases payment instead on volume and intensity of services provided. As the US moves towards a single payor system like those that have been adopted by many industrialized nations, quality metrics will be
instituted to improve efficiency of service delivery by focusing on preventive care measures and
minimizing costly complications.

Third Place Investigator Category - Melissa Shauver, MPH received her undergraduate eduction from the University of Michigan. She received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, concentrating in Health Behavior and Health Education, in 2007. Since that time Melissa has worked under Kevin Chung, MD, MS as a Research Coordinator in the University of Michigan Section of Plastic Surgery participating in research related to lower limb reconstruction, distal radius fracture treatment and decision-analysis.