Faculty and Staff
Institute for Families in Society
(PhD, Geography, Simon Fraser University)
Nathaniel Bell is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing. He is also affiliated with the Department of Surgery and the Arnold School of Public Health. He received his doctorate in Geography from Simon Fraser University in 2010. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina, he was a Canadian Institutes for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia and the research manager for Trauma Services at Vancouver General Hospital.
Professor Bell’s research advances existing knowledge of anticipated and unanticipated effects of health care reform on the US population. Whether a proponent or a critic of many of the reforms occurring in parallel or as a direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most scientists and stakeholders agree that a new era in health care in the US has begun. But how should successes of these policies be measured? Using linked administrative datasets, Professor Bell and his colleagues are designing studies to make inferences about the effects of health care policy reform when experimentation is not feasible. Fundamental to these studies is an underlying focus on social and environmental determinants that drive variations in outcomes achieved, such as the reduction of preventable mortality as a result of improved access to integrative primary care; the proportion of hospital readmissions that could be avoided had patients had access to outpatient health care services; the effect of patient socioeconomic status on pay-for-performance risk adjustment; as well as variation in health care outcomes relative to need, geography, and scope of practice restrictions.