Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD

Senior Investigator

Debra RitzwollerDebra P. Ritzwoller, PhD, is a Senior Investigator at the Institute for Health Research. Her research focuses on variation in cancer screening and treatment, outcomes and costs in community settings, the impact of insurance benefit design on patient cost-sharing, and cost estimation and cost-effectiveness.

Dr. Ritzwoller completed her doctoral training in economics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As an economist and health services researcher, she has served as a Principal Investigator or Co-investigator on more than a dozen large, complex, multi-site studies. Currently, Dr. Ritzwoller is the co-lead of the Lung PROSPR Research Center (Lung-PRC) to improve lung cancer screening. The long-term goal of this multi-site center grant is to identify critical gaps in the lung cancer screening process and to design innovative, multilevel interventions to reduce lung cancer mortality, particularly among underserved populations. Additionally, she has led several studies and analyses related to the growth in High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and their impact on health care utilization and costs. Her recent work in this area focused on an analysis of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) state-based insurance exchange in Colorado, and its impact on enrollment into KPCO’s individual and family plan direct-pay HDHPs.

Dr. Ritzwoller is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy at the University of Colorado School of Public Health and a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) Steering Committee.

Selected Research

  • The Lung PROSPR Research Center (Lung-PRC)
    Funder: National Cancer Institute
    Study End Date: 3/31/2023
  • Disparities in Recurrence for Breast, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer Patients
    Funder: American Cancer Society
    Study End Date: 6/30/2021
  • Pragmatic Trial of More versus Less Intensive Strategies for Active Surveillance of Patients with Small Pulmonary Nodules
    Funder: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
    Study End Date: 7/31/2020
  • Kaiser Permanente NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Cancer Care Delivery Research Program (CCDR)
    Funder: National Cancer Institute
    Study End Date: 7/31/2019
  • Cancer Recurrence Detection in Administrative Data, Incidence, and Costs
    Funder: National Cancer Institute
    Study End Date: 2/28/2019