Kara Zivin

Kara Zivin

Senior Researcher

Kara Zivin has 20 years of experience conducting research and evaluation studies of clinical, functional, and quality-of-life outcomes for vulnerable populations with behavioral health conditions, including women in the perinatal period, older adults, and veterans.

Zivin currently directs a project, which includes a simulation model using estimates from the literature, to assess the societal costs of untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders that is informed by a large and diverse advisory panel of experts in maternal and child health. Zivin previously led technical assistance work for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, supporting the implementation and monitoring of state 1115 waiver demonstrations, which address substance and opioid use disorder. For the evaluation of the Affordable Care Act–mandated Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Services Demonstration, Zivin led the cost analyses to examine the effect of allowing federal Medicaid payments for inpatient stays in private psychiatric hospitals for people who were suicidal, homicidal, or dangerous to themselves or others. Her other projects include leading a mixed-methods study to determine whether changing electronic health record defaults for prescription opioids affects the number of pills dispensed, an evaluation of primary and behavioral health care integration, and behavioral health quality measure development and testing.

Zivin is also a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School and a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Her work has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Psychiatry, JAMA Psychiatry, American Journal of Public Health, Medical Care, and Health Services Research. She has received research and evaluation funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University and an M.S. in health policy and management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  • Mixed Methods Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • Behavioral Health Services and Policy
  • Integrated Primary and Behavioral Health Care
  • Pharmaceutical Policy
Focus Area Topics
  • Mental Health and Substance Use
  • Population Health
  • Medicaid and CHIP

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