Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD

Senior Investigator

Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD, is an Economist and Senior Investigator at the Institute for Health Research. Her research focuses on variation in cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment, outcomes and costs in community settings, the impact of insurance benefit design on patient cost-sharing, and cost estimation within implementation science initiatives.

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 Principal Investigator (PI), and corresponding PI in collaboration with Dr. Anil Vachani at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) 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 (LCS) process that will inform multilevel interventions to improve quality and reduce lung cancer mortality, particularly among underserved populations. She is also involved in several studies related to healthcare systems' transition to telehealth venues of care, and how this shift has impacted health care utilization and costs. She is also a co-Investigator on several other cancer and LCS related projects that address cancer recurrence, management of lung nodules, LCS quality metrics, and comparative modeling approaches. Additionally, she is collaborating with national leaders in implementation science and with research teams studying implementation initiatives in a variety of topical areas, including lung cancer screening, asthma care management, and behavioral economics. Dr. Ritzwoller is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy at the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

Selected Research:

  • The Lung PROSPR Research Center (Lung-PRC)
    • Funder: National Cancer Institute
    • Award End Date: 03/31/2023

  • Practical Implementation Science Approaches to Assess and Enhance Value of Cancer Prevention and Control in Rural Primary Care
    • Funder: National Cancer Institute
    • Award End Date: 08/31/2024

  •  Improving Diagnostic Quality and Safety in Lung Cancer Screening
    • Funder: Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
    • Award End Date: 06/30/2022

  • Disparities in Recurrence for Breast, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer Patients
    • Funder: American Cancer Society
    • Award End Date: 06/30/2022

  • Pragmatic Trial of More versus Less Intensive Strategies for Active Surveillance of Patients with Small Pulmonary Nodules
    • Funder: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
    • Award End Date: 07/31/2022

  • Optimizing Lung Cancer Screening Nodule Evaluation
    • Funder: National Cancer Institute
    • Award End Date: 07/31/2026

  • Effects of Virtual Visit Utilization vs In-Person Visit Utilization on Treatment Adherence
    • Funder: KP-Telehealth Research Program
    • Award End Date: 12/31/2021