Susan Busch, PhD
Professor of Public Health (Health Policy) and Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies
Years active at Yale: 2000-present
Dr. Busch is being recognized for teaching and policy research. She leads impactful research examining the effects of policies and regulations on health care cost and quality. Most of her work focuses on behavioral health; health care economics and organizations; health services research; and health care quality, access, and evaluation.
As the opioid epidemic deepens, Dr. Busch’s research on opioid addiction becomes more integral to treatment options and effectiveness. Her most recent work identified that people with opioid addiction who seek treatment in emergency departments (ED) for overdoses and other ailments and receive buprenorphine, a medication to reduce drug cravings, incur lower health care costs over the following month than those who get a referral to treatment services or receive a brief intervention with a facilitated referral. The findings are significant because relatively few people with opioid use disorder receive treatment, and even fewer receive the most effective treatments such as buprenorphine. Additionally, patients who started the medication in an ED were almost twice as likely to be enrolled in addiction treatment and used opioids for fewer days, during the 30 days following their ED visits. The findings could have a significant impact in Connecticut, where emergency departments treat a relatively high number of opioid-related cases.