Susan Miller, PHD, MBA
Professor of Health Services, Practice and Policy (Research)
Health Services, Practice and Policy
Work: +1 401-863-9216
Dr. Miller studies nursing home (NH) end-of-life care and long-term care utilization and quality. Her ongoing research includes studies that aim to understand the use of hospice care in NHs, how use is associated with state policies, and how hospice care influences quality. Another study is examining NH "culture change" practices, state policies associated with their adoption, and quality outcomes.
BiographyDr. Susan Miller is a Professor of Health Services, Practice and Policy (Research) at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Miller is trained in gerontology and epidemiology and focuses her research on nursing home end-of-life care and long-term care (LTC) quality and utilization. Currently, Dr. Miller is principal investigator (PI) on a Retirement Research Foundation-funded study, which through a nationally representative survey, will estimate the prevalence of culture change practices in U.S. nursing homes and study how this prevalence may vary in relation to a state's LTC policies. Also, Dr. Miller is co-PI on a NIA-funded project collecting data on palliative care processes and knowledge in nursing homes and studying how state LTC policies influence a nursing home's choice to use hospice care. Additionally, Dr. Miller leads an Alzheimer Association-funded study aimed at understanding the use of Medicare hospice care by dying residents with dementia. The goal of Dr. Miller's research is to generate and disseminate knowledge to inform policymaking and care provision; the ultimate goal being to improve access to and the quality of long-term care.
Research DescriptionDr. Susan Miller is a Professor of Health Services, Practice and Policy at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a gerontologist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on nursing home end-of-life care, hospice care, and long-term care utilization and quality. Dr. Miller's research includes an applied policy study funded by the JEHT Foundation and aimed at understanding how state policies and practices influence access to and quality of palliative care/hospice for persons receiving long-term care services, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study to identify and disseminate nursing home/hospice "collaborative solutions." Her ongoing or recently completed research includes studies funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Alzheimer's Association that aim to understand how use of hospice care in nursing homes has changed over time, how key federal state policy may be associated with this use, how changes in state policies and practices may be associated with changes in use, and how hospice use is associated with resident and nursing home quality of care indicators. A recently completed study, funded by the Retirement Research Foundation, examined how state policies may be associated with the implementation of culture change in U.S. nursing homes and how the implementation of culture change practices is associated with quality outcomes. The goal of Dr. Miller's research is to generate and disseminate knowledge to inform policy making and care provision; the ultimate goal is to improve access to and the quality of long-term care, particularly end-of-life care. Prior to receiving her PhD in 1997, Dr. Miller had an over 20-year career as an administrator, educator, and consultant in the field of health information management.
Grants and AwardsAmerican Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Paper Award for "The Longitudinal Use of Hospice Care in US Nursing Homes," 2010 Annual Meeting
"Partner in Policy & Advocacy Award" presented by The Center for Hospice, Palliative Care & End-of-Life Studies, University of South Florida, March 4, 2005.
Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America, Open Society Institute, 7/2002 to 6/2004
"James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award", Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association, 2000
Honorable Mention, "The Laurence G. Branch, Ph.D. Student Research Award," Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association, 1997
AffiliationsEditorial Advisory Board Member: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management,appointment 9/2004 to present
Editorial Advisory Board Member: Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, appointment 1/2005 to present
Associate Editor, Journal of Palliative Medicine, 4/2009 to present
(and Advisory Board Member, 1/2009 to 4/2009).
Associate Editor, BMC Geriatrics (international journal), 1/2010 to present
Member: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Research Committee, 2004present
Member: Task Force to Improve End-of-Life Care, sponsored by the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, 2003-present
Expert Panel Member, for development of Surveyor Interpretive Guidelines for Federal Nursing Home Regulations, Palliative Care and Advance Directives, March 2010-present.
Chair, Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association's Action Board, 2009-present
Editorial Advisory Board Member: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, appointment 9/2004-9/2006
Grant Reviewer: The Alzheimer's Association, 1999-present
Advisory Board Member: Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, appointment effective 1/2005.
Member: Association for Health Services Research, 1997-present
Member: Gerontology Society of America, 1992-present
Member: American Public Health Association, Gerontological Health Section, 1992-present
Reviewer: Aging Health, Archives of Internal Medicine; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; Milbank Quarterly; The Gerontologist; Journal of American Geriatrics Society; Medical Care; Social Science and Medicine; Research on Aging; Health Services Research
Funded ResearchSelected Research
Principal Investigator (of subcontract), Title: Determinants and Consequences of Veterans' Nursing Home Use (PI Orna Intrator, PhD, Providence VA), the Veterans Administration, total subcontract costs $112,179, 6/1/10 5/30/13.
Co-Investigator, Social Networks and Care Planning for Women with Cancer (PI Melissa Clark, PhD), total costs $116,971, National Cancer Institute, 4/2/10 -- 3/31/12.
Co-Investigator, Examining Changes to the Medicare Hospice Benefit Payment System (PI Pedro Gozalo, PhD), total costs $152,543, National Hospice Foundation of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organizations, 3/1/09 12/31/11.
Co-Principal Investigator, Project 4, Variations in Life's Final Chapter (PI Vincent Mor,PhD), total costs $956,779; and, co-investigator of Core A, Shaping Long-term Care in American, National Institute on Aging P01, 9/15/076/30/12.
Principal Investigator, Nursing Home Culture Change: Understanding its Implementation and Impact, total costs $289,435, Retirement Research Foundation, 6/1/2008 12/31/11.
Principal Investigator, End-of-Life Care and Hospice: Older Adults with Dementia in Nursing Homes, total costs $198,963, Alzheimer's Association, 8/1/2008 12/31/10.
Principal Investigator (of subcontract), The ADEPT Study: Estimating Prognosis in Advanced Dementia (PI Susan Mitchell, Ph.D., Hebrew Senior Life, Harvard), subcontract total $313,413, National Institute on Aging, 7/1/06 6/31/10.
Principal Investigator, The Role of State and Federal Policies in Shaping Accessible High-Quality Long-Term Care for Persons with Advanced, Chronic or Terminal Illness, $115,000, The JEHT Foundation (NYC), 10/1/06 5/12/07.
Principal Investigator, Improving Data Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Disease Research: Normal Aging through Dementia, $193,825, Anonymous Donor, 7/1/05-12/31/06.
Principal Investigator, Best Practices of Nursing Home End-of-Life Care, total costs $199,220, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 12/1/03 5/30/06, #049891.
Principal Investigator, Timely access to hospice care: Understanding barriers and influencing change, Project on Death In America, Open Society Institute, total costs $150,664, 7/1/02 - 6/30/04.
Principal Investigator, Nursing home care at the end of life: Costs and quality; 5 R01 HS10549-02, total costs $310,096, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, 10/1/00 -- 9/30/02.
Co-Principal Investigator, Nursing home care at the end of life: Costs and quality (PI Vincent Mor); R01 HS10549-01, total costs $380,737, 10/1/99 9/30/00.