Mythreyi Bhargavan, Ph.D.

July 18, 2011

Mythreyi Bhargavan, Ph.D., is the director of the Data Registries at the American College of Radiology. Her research interests include physician practice quality measurement, radiation exposure, disparities in access to diagnostic imaging technology, and the relationship between diagnostic imaging and health care costs. Her research has been published in Health Affairs, Medical Care, Radiology, American Journal of Roentgenology, and Journal of the American College of Radiology. In addition to her position at the American College of Radiology, Dr. Bhargavan serves a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP). 

From 2008 through 2010, Dr. Bhargavan was the principal investigator on a HCFO-funded grant, “Is Small-Area Variation in Healthcare Utilization Explained by Physician Financial Self-Interest?” The study, using Medicare claims data, focused specifically on the role of physician financial self-interest (FSI) in the context of imaging procedures. The researchers sought to understand whether FSI contributes to variability in the utilization and cost of care, and, if so, whether mechanisms might be developed to address FSI and reduce health care costs. The researchers concluded that the percent of physicians with a FSI in a hospital referral region (HRR) was positively and significantly correlated with the volume of imaging ordered and imaging costs in the HRR, but not significantly related to non-imaging costs.  The findings were included in a HCFO policy brief, “Geographic Variation and Health Care Cost Growth: Research to Inform a Complex Diagnosis.” 

Dr. Bhargavan received her Ph.D. in Economics at Rutgers University. She holds an  M.A. in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India and a B.A. in Economics from the Lady Shriram College for Women at the University of Delhi. During her tenure at Rutgers University she received the Excellence Fellowship from the Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, and the Sidney Brown Prize for best academic performance and research potential.