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Margie Rosenberg's Research on Social Determinants to Predict Health Expenditures


On Tuesday, October 20th, the Actuarial Club heard from one of our own faculty members, Margie Rosenberg, about a research project she completed alongside another professor and two students. The project, partially funded through a CAE research grant to the program, was presented to the club with the topic "A Cluster Analysis Application Using Only Social Determinant Variables to Predict Profiles of US Adults Having the Highest (and Lowest) Health Expenditures". Rosenberg's published article on the research project is titled "Determinants of Persistent High Utilizers in U.S. Adults Using Nationally Representative Data" (Kyeonghee Kim & Marjorie A. Rosenberg, 2019).

During the presentation, Rosenberg described the research process they took, diving in-depth to the cluster analysis process they used to find representative populations of individuals. As the purpose of this project was to identify shared social determinant variables among the 5% of the nations' population who account for 50% of the nations' health care expenditures, the clusters chosen reflected these similarities. By identifying these groups, the research could shed light on the social determinant variables that the health insurance industry could focus its efforts toward mitigating risk of and even develop preventative measures to encourage positive health trends in these groups, therefore hopefully observing a decrease in health expenditures for these clusters.

While the purpose of this presentation was to introduce our members who widely study Actuarial Science to some data analytics and new statistical practices with implications to the health care industry, it also showcased another way that Actuaries' skills can be used to promote efficiency in the tools and products we can design in our careers, ultimately improving not only our industries but also the individuals within our society that rely on those services.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Margie Rosenberg for the time she spent preparing and presenting to our Actuarial Club members, as her knowledge and enthusiasm for her studies helps shape us into better Actuarial professionals.

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