Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez: (US) Puerto Rico


Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez, Ph.D. has collaborated with Omar Galarraga, Ph.D. to evaluate the impact of Seguro Popular [insurance for the poor] in the utilization of preventive services and treatment and care of chronic conditions for older adults in Mexico. Their findings suggest that Seguro Popular does not seem to have a significant effect on preventive care and on a number of components of diabetes and hypertension treatment and care. 
The results have been published in the Journal of Aging and Health and Health Services Research (in press).

Dr. Rivera-Hernandez has been invited to present her work at Universidad Estatal del Valle de Toluca in Mexico. In addition, Dr. Rivera-Hernandez, working with Amal Trivedi, MD., conducted a study regarding quality of care experienced by Hispanic Puerto Rican residents in Medicare Advantage plans. They found that Medicare Advantage plans in Puerto Rico have substantially worse measured quality than Medicare Advantage plans in the United States. Some of the biggest disparities found in the study were for indicators that assessed use of appropriate medications, including use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy, use of system corticosteroids and bronchodilators in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Their study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.    

Dr. Rivera-Hernandez was invited by the Puerto Rican Society of Cardiology to present the study findings in June 2016. This experience opened the door to potential collaborations and opportunities to continue performing research on the quality of care for older adults in Puerto Rico. 

(Distributed July 13, 2016)