Developing Data Tools for Natural Disasters: Implementing Best Practices for Electricity-dependent Medicaid Enrollees (2019-2020)

This project team created emergency preparedness tools and algorithms using Medicaid claims data to identify individuals with electricity-dependent medical equipment or important refrigeration-sensitive medications. Once developed and tested, these algorithms can be run in the days or weeks before a hurricane strikes to identify high-risk patients. The resulting list of high-risk patients can then be securely disclosed to emergency responders and local health departments to prioritize recovery efforts. This work was conducted in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

These methods and the accompanying documentation and training materials developed by this project were made available to state leaders so they can be deployed in advance of the next storm. This enables on-the-ground first responders, public health departments and policy officials to prioritize rescue operations and relief efforts for subsets of especially vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries in affected areas.

In addition to analyzing quantitative data, the team interviewed policy officials, public health officials and emergency response officials in states frequently affected by major hurricane events (NC, FL, NJ) to gather best practices from recent storms to inform development of the analytical model.


Spring 2019 – Fall 2019

This Team in the News

Meet the Members of the 2019-2020 Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

New Project Teams Will Tackle Research to Inform Hurricane Preparedness and Resiliency Efforts


Team Leaders

  • Hilary Campbell, Margolis Center for Health Policy
  • Aaron McKethan, School of Medicine-Population Health Sciences

/graduate Team Members

  • Xin Zhang, Master of Environmental Management, Energy and Environment, Geospatial Analysis
  • Allison Young, Interdisciplinary Data Science - Masters
  • Rachel Salzberg, Masters of Public Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Amelia Martin, Biology (BS)
  • Mishek Thapa, Statistical Science (BS)
  • Pranav Sharma, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Saba Ali, Chemistry (AB)
  • Rahul Krishnaswamy, Political Science (AB)
  • Sarah Blau, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Suman Bajgain, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Akshara Anand, Computer Science (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Azalea Kim, School of Medicine-Medicine: General Internal Medicine
  • Andrew Olson, School of Medicine-Duke Clinical Research Institute
  • Bradley Hammill, School of Medicine-Population Health Sciences
  • Donald Taylor, Sanford School of Public Policy

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Shreya Shah, Undergraduate Student, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services