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Faculty Directory

William PadulaPhD

William PadulaPhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics

Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics

William V. Padula, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics at USC Mann and a fellow at the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. Prior to his arrival at USC, he was assistant professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

His healthcare research explores the theoretical foundations of medical cost-effectiveness analysis, especially pertaining to issues around drug pricing and patient safety in hospitals. He has recently been evaluating the use of data analytics to predict acute health complications in hospitalized patients. He has taught economic evaluation modeling curriculum extensively throughout the U.S. and globally. He has performed innovative comparative effectiveness research and cost-effectiveness analysis of quality-improvement strategies to prevent hospital-acquired pressure injuries (aka “bedsores”). In 2017, he and colleagues collaborated with the Maryland attorney general to pass bipartisan Maryland state legislation to restrict price hikes on generic pharmaceuticals—the first of its kind in the U.S.

In addition to USC, he maintains adjunct appointments at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Nursing and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Hopkins Medicine. He holds an honorary appointment at the University of Technology Sydney, and has been a visiting fellow at the Oxford Institute for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research in Oxford, UK. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in health economics at the University of Chicago and led an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality–funded investigation to develop predictive risk algorithms using electronic health record data.

He is the recipient of the 2015 AcademyHealth Outstanding Dissertation Award and an ISPOR Best Research Award. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and as a commissioner for the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program.

Padula received his PhD in pharmaceutical outcomes research from the University of Colorado. He holds two master’s degrees—in analytics from The University of Chicago and evaluative clinical science from Dartmouth College—as well as a BS in chemical engineering from Northwestern University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Hospital Medicine
  • Outcomes Research
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Health Economics
  • Health Services Research
  • Quality Improvement
  • Education

    University of Colorado


    Dartmouth College


    University of Chicago


    Northwestern University


  • Links
  • Selected Articles

    Investing in Skilled Specialists to Grow Hospital Infrastructure for Quality Improvement

    Journal of Patient Safety
    William V Padula, Madhuram Nagarajan, Patricia M Davidson, Peter J Pronovost

    2019 We evaluated pressure injury rates as an indicator of performance in a retrospective observational cohort of 55 US academic hospitals from the Vizient clinical database between 2007 and 2012. Pressure injuries were defined by US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicator 3 (PSI-03) for stage 3, 4, and unstageable pressure injuries not present on admission in hospitalized adults. We compared ratios of board-certified wound care nurses per 1000 hospital beds to hospital-acquired pressure injury rates in these hospitals using mixed-effects regression of hospital quarters.

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    Cost-effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination among patients with CKD in the United States

    American Journal of Kidney Diseases
    Junichi Ishigami, William V Padula, Morgan E Grams, Alexander R Chang, Bernard Jaar, Ron T Gansevoort, John FP Bridges, Csaba P Kovesdy, Shinichi Uchida, Josef Coresh, Kunihiro Matsushita

    2019 Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for adults 65 years and older and those younger than 65 years with clinical indications (eg, diabetes, lung/heart disease, kidney failure, and nephrotic syndrome). Its cost-effectiveness in less severe chronic kidney disease (CKD) is uncharacterized.

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    The national cost of hospital‐acquired pressure injuries in the United States

    International Wound journal
    William V Padula, Benjo A Delarmente

    2019 Our objective was to estimate the US national cost burden of hospital‐acquired pressure injury (HAPI) using economic simulation methods. We created a Markov simulation to estimate costs for staged pressure injuries acquired during hospitalisation from the hospital perspective. The model analysed outcomes of hospitalised adults with acute illness in 1‐day cycles until all patients were terminated at the point of discharge or death. Simulations that developed a staged pressure injury after 4 days could advance from Stages 1 to 4 and accrue additional costs for Stages 3 and 4. We measured costs in 2016 US dollars representing the total cost of acute care attributable to HAPI incidence at the patient level and for the entire United States based on the previously reported epidemiology of pressure injury. US HAPI costs could exceed $26.8 billion. About 59% of these costs are disproportionately attributable to a small rate of Stages 3 and 4 full‐thickness wounds, which occupy clinician time and hospital resources. HAPIs remain a concern with regard to hospital quality in addition to being a major source of economic burden on the US health care system. Hospitals should invest more in quality improvement of early detection and care for pressure injury to avoid higher costs.

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    Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Single-Use EEG Cup Electrodes Compared with Reusable EEG Cup Electrodes

    American Journal of Kidney Diseases
    Anne Sohrt, Anders Mærkedahl, William V Padula

    2019 The objective was to investigate the cost effectiveness of using single-use EEG-CE instead of reusable EEG-CE when the risk of sepsis is considered.

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    PIT25 Development of a Machine Learning Algorithm to Predict Future Risk of Patients for High-Cost Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injuries

    Value in Health
    M Kelley, WV Padula

    2019 Hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) result in over 60,000 deaths in the U.S. at a societal cost of $26 billion. Early detection of those at greatest risk could improve outcomes. The Braden Scale is a HAPI risk-assessment tool, with scores collected in patient charts. Our first objective was to develop a machine learning algorithm to predict future Braden score trajectories from electronic health records (EHR). Second, we applied constrained optimization to the database to improve predictive efficiency.

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  • Selected Media Appearances

    The U.S. should assess the economic value of drugs rather than leave it up to other countries

    STAT | 01/17/2019

    One reason why prescription drugs are often priced lower overseas is that many countries perform detailed assessments of the economic value of drugs and their benefits. These assessments result in hard bargaining with drug companies before the medicines are allowed into national health plans...

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