2022 Fletcher Prize Awarded

2022 Fletcher Prize Awarded

March 28, 2022
Kushal Kadakia
Kushal Kadakia
2022 Fletcher Prize winner

We are pleased to announce that Kushal Kadakia, a medical student at Harvard Medical School, has been selected to receive the annual Fletcher Prize in Population Medicine. His winning submission, “Paying for Prevention—The Next Frontier for Value-Based Care”, reviews the evidence from Medicare’s previous population health experiments and identifies challenges and opportunities for deploying new demonstrations focused on prevention and health promotion.

Kushal learned of the Fletcher Prize from his professors in the Essentials course at Harvard Medical School. Led by DPM faculty, Essentials is a component of the HMS curriculum that combines the teaching of core skills of clinical epidemiology as they apply to the care of individuals and populations with an introduction to key public and population health topics. Medical students explore how factors beyond the four walls of the clinic influence individual and population health, from the regulation of health care markets to the contributions of the social determinants of health. The readings and class discussions challenged him to think more about how current health policies could be reformed to encourage improvements in population health, and the Fletcher Prize offered a forum for thinking through and engaging with some of those ideas.

In his Fletcher Prize submission, Kushal examined past experimental efforts with Medicare’s payment and delivery models. Policymakers frequently espouse the “Triple Aim”—better experience, improved outcomes, and lower costs—as the goal of health care reforms. However, when reviewing the literature on payment and delivery reforms, he noticed that many innovation models placed greater emphasis on reducing spending as compared with improving population health. When asked what drew him to this topic, Kushal notes, “While this focus is understandable, given that the U.S. spends a far greater share of its GDP on health care than other high-income countries, the growing prevalence of chronic diseases and poor health outcomes for Americans made me wonder how the movement towards value-based payment could be reoriented to better incentivize prevention and outcomes improvements.” 



About the Fletcher Prize in Population Medicine

The Fletcher Prize, named for Department of Population Professors Emeriti Suzanne and Robert Fletcher, who are national leaders in advancing the field of clinical epidemiology, is awarded by the Department for the best paper on a topic in Population Medicine written by a Harvard Medical School or Harvard School of Dental Medicine student. Papers are judged by an expert panel of DPM faculty and awarded with a $1000 prize. Learn more about the Fletcher Prize.

About the 2022 Fletcher Prize in Population Medicine Winner

Kushal Kadakia is an M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School. He earned degrees in public policy and biology from Duke University, where he led a successful campaign to make the university smoke-free and was elected a Faculty Scholar, the university’s highest award. Kushal then pursued master’s degrees in epidemiology and history from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where he was awarded the faculty prize as the top student in his cohort. His writings on health care reform have been published in journals such as NEJM and JAMA and in outlets such as Harvard Business Review and STAT News. Kushal aspires to a career at the intersection of clinical practice and health care policy and management.