Texas A&M University Institute of Advanced Studies

Yuxian Du

Yuxian Du

The experience with my Hagler Institute Faculty Fellow Dr. William Sage offered me many unique opportunities, and one of the most special gifts is being able to build external connections. In addition to Dr. Sage, I have been working closely with Prof. Bernard Black, an internationally renowned empirical legal scholar at Northwestern, and Prof. David Hyman, a health law scholar at Georgetown. Throughout our research endeavor, I have also made connections with senior CMS officials who are in charge of long-term care regulation and enforcement.

During the academic year, we have been focusing on the research of the safety and quality of nursing home care in Texas. Based on earlier work done by Drs. Black, Hyman, and Sage on physician and hospital liability, Texas witnessed a dramatic decrease for long-term care lawsuits since the adoption of tort reform in 2003. However, we suspect that this decrease in the lawsuit may not necessarily indicate improvements in safety and quality of nursing home care. Therefore, this project examines the nursing home implication of that previous work.

We began with Texas and national data on regulatory inspections, citation on violations and sanctions with penalties to develop novel measures of nursing home safety and quality. First, we use these measures to test the validity of the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) “Star-Rating” in the “Nursing Home Compare” program, which attempts to illustrate nursing home quality in a consumer-friendly single score. It is likely that we submit a journal article on the issues raised by this validation process.

Currently, we are using these data to assess the impact of tort reform on Texas regarding nursing home quality. We are investigating the nursing facility opening and closing (i.e. access to long-term care), and their correlation to the county-specific malpractice risks in Texas before the tort reform that was developed in previous research. With these data sources, we are comparing the change in the county-level risks and nursing home quality and access. We expect to submit one or more papers on these studies.

Being able to work with the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and receiving the gracious giving from HEEP Fellowship is a great gift for my career. The Hagler Institute opened my horizon and enabled me with an understanding of the greater needs outside of my scope of study. Meanwhile, it encouraged me to concentrate on my research field and determined to pursue findings that could have a larger global impact. The generous financial support from the HEEP Fellowship provided me with an ease of mind and helped me to stay focused and to chase my research interests wholeheartedly. Even though my fellowship is about to end in the coming August, I am certain that the collaboration developed through the research project will continue and have a long-lasting impact on my career.


Health Services Research

Graduation Year

August 2018

Degree Type


Fellowship Year(s)

'16- '17

Previous Education

B.S. in Biological Sciences - Tsinghua University School of Life Sciences - '13


Dr. Michael A. Morrisey
Dr. Robert L. Ohsfeldt

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