Monday, December 14, 2020

Evidence Foundation Scholar Update: Christian Kershaw

Dr. Christian Kershaw, a health policy analyst with CGS Administrators, LLC, attended the fall 2019 GRADE Guideline Development Workshop free of charge as an Evidence Foundation scholar. As part of the scholarship, Dr. Kershaw submitted and then presented on a proposal for reducing bias in healthcare, focusing on how to build and lead cross-functional teams (blog post here). We followed up with Dr. Kershaw at one year post-workshop to see what's happened since her attendance.

"In my work as a health policy analyst for a Medicare Fee-for-Service contractor, I use my research background to help with the evaluation of scientific literature on products being considered for coverage by Medicare. My team was created because of a call for transparency in how Medicare makes coverage decisions. I received the Evidence Foundation scholarship to the Fall 2019 GRADE conference and attended along with my team members to learn GRADE methodology. Our goal was to determine if implementation of GRADE methodology would standardize our literature evaluation process for coverage decisions," said Dr. Kershaw.

"At the conference I presented on the benefits of establishing cross-functional teams. By joining forces with team members with a heterogeneous set of skills and backgrounds, we can leverage individual strengths and encourage innovation to reach a common goal. In my work, I collaborate with MDs, RNs, and policy experts with a well-rounded knowledge base of clinical standards, Medicare processes, and coverage policies. After learning GRADE methodology, we implemented the use of GRADE to improve the transparency and standardization of our process for writing coverage policies. our team has now completed two GRADE workshops, and we are constantly working to improve our use of this methodology. We have found that the use of GRADE helps our cross-functional team improve our ability to systematically make coverage determinations based on scientific evidence."

Stay tuned for future updates from other past Evidence Foundation scholars like Dr. Kershaw and the exciting work they are doing to improve the application of GRADE methodology and evidence-based medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about GRADE and attending the workshop as a scholarship recipient, applications for our upcoming workshop next May are now open. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2021. Details can be found here.