Jennifer M. Polinski, ScD, MPH, MS

Jump to Selected Publications

Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Department of Medicine
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics
1620 Tremont Street, Suite 3030,
Boston, MA 02120
Phone: 617-278-0930 | Fax: 617-232-8602

Jennifer M. Polinski, ScD, MPH, MS is an epidemiologist in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.


Dr. Polinski’s research is focused in three main areas: 1) the impact of health interventions and health policy changes on the use of prescription drugs among elderly and vulnerable populations; 2) the role of shared decision making and patient and physician education in enhancing the appropriate use of prescription drugs; and 3) the use of innovative epidemiologic methods to reduce confounding in pharmacoepidemiology and health services research.


Dr. Polinski teaches EPI 235: Health Services Research, a course that introduces students to the application of epidemiologic methods in health services and comparative effectiveness research. The course emphasizes real-world, practical approaches to study design and data analysis using electronic healthcare databases. Methods for health policy and program evaluation, drug and device innovation, comparative effectiveness and safety assessment, evaluation of cost outcomes, designed delay and pragmatic randomized trials, benchmarking and quality assessment, and methods for and applications of geographic information systems are all discussed.


Dr. Polinski graduated summa cum laude from the University of Virginia, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and completed her postgraduate training at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University on a Robert E. Woodruff Scholarship. Dr. Polinski earned both masters and doctoral degrees in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. During her training, Dr. Polinski was an intern at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Office of Research, Development and Evaluation’s Division of Research on Health Plans and Drugs.

Selected Publications | Current PubMed Search Results

  1. Polinski JM, Wang PS, Fischer MA. Medicaid’s prior authorization program and access to atypical antipsychotic medications. Health Aff 2007;26:750-60. PubMed PMID: 17485754.
  2. Solomon DH, Katz JN, Finkelstein JS, Polinski JM, Stedman M, Brookhart MA, Arnold M, Gauthier S, Avorn J. Osteoporosis improvement: a large scale randomized controlled trial of patient and primary care physician education. J Bone Miner Res 2007; 22:1808-15. PubMed PMID: 1764503.
  3. Polinski JM, Maclure M, Marshall B, Cassels A, Patrick AR, Schneeweiss S. Does knowledge of medication prices predict physicians’ support for cost effective prescribing policies? Can J Clin Pharmacol Therap 2008;15(2):e286-94. Epub 2008 Jul 19. PubMed PMID: 18641423. PubMed Central ID: PMC2913604.
  4. Shrank WH, Patrick AR, Pedan A, Polinski JM, Varasteh L, Levin R, Liu, Schneeweiss S. The effect of transitioning to Medicare Part D drug coverage in seniors dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. . J Am Geriatr Soc 2008;56:2304-10. PubMed PMID: 19093930. PubMed Central ID: PMC2607038.
  5. Polinski JM, Mohr PE, Johnson L. The impact of Medicare Part D on access to and cost sharing for specialty biologic medications for beneficiaries with rheumatoid arthritis. . Arthr Care Res 2009;61(6):745–54. PubMed ID: 19479704.
  6. Polinski JM, Schneeweiss S, Levin R, Shrank WH. Completeness of retail pharmacy claims data: implications for pharmacoepidemiologic studies and pharmacy practice in elderly adults. . Clin Ther 2009;31:2048-59. PubMed PMID: 19843494. PubMed Central ID: PMC2780348.
  7. Polinski JM, Schneeweiss S, Maclure M, Marshall B, Ramsden S, Dormuth CN. Time series evaluation of an intervention to increase statin tablet splitting by general practitioners. Clin Ther 2011;33:235-43. PubMed PMID: 21497707. NIH Manuscript NIHMS: 276040. PubMed Central ID: PMC3080235.
  8. Polinski JM, Shrank WH, Huskamp HA, Glynn RJ, Liberman JN, Schneeweiss S. Changes in drug utilization during a gap in insurance coverage: an examination of the Medicare Part D coverage gap. PLoS Med 2011;8(8):e1001075. Epub 2011 Aug 16. PubMed PMID: 21857811. PubMed Central ID: PMC3156689.
  9. Polinski JM, Brookhart MA, Glynn RJ, Schneeweiss S. Medicare Part D’s impact on antipsychotic drug use and costs among elderly patients without prior drug insurance. J Clin Psychopharm 2012;32:3-10. PubMed PMID: 22198455. NIH Manuscript NIHMS: 389737. PubMed Central ID: PMC3419531.
  10. Polinski JM, Schneeweiss S, Glynn RJ, Lii J, Rassen JA. Confronting “confounding by health system use” in Medicare Part D: comparative effectiveness of propensity score approaches to confounding adjustment. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2012;21 Suppl 2:90-8. PubMed PMID: 22552984. NIH Manuscript NIHMS: 377154. PubMed Central ID: PMC3367305.
  11. Polinski JM, Shrank WH, Glynn RJ, Huskamp HA, Roebuck MC, Schneeweiss S. Beneficiaries with cardiovascular disease and the Part D coverage gap. Circ: Cardiovas Qlty Outcom 2012;5:387-95. Epub 2012 Apr 17. PubMed PMID: 22511746. NIH Manuscript NIHMS: 370977. PubMed Central ID: PMC3361758.
  12. Polinski JM, Shrank WH, Glynn RJ, Huskamp HA, Roebuck MC, Schneeweiss S. Association between the Part D coverage gap and adverse health outcomes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2012;60:1408-17. Epub 2012 Jul 12. PubMed PMID: 22788544. NIH Manuscript NIHMS: 379498. PubMed Central ID: PMC3419279.
  13. Polinski JM, Curtis BH, Seeger JD, Choudhry NK, Zagar A, Shrank WH. Rationale and design of the multinational observational study assessing insulin use: the MOSAIc study. BMC Endocr Disord 2012;12:20. PubMed PMID: 22999494. PubMed Central ID: PMC3545975.
  14. Gagne JJ, Polinski JM, Kesselheim AS, Choudhry NK, Hutchins D, Matlin OS, Tong A, Shrank WH. Patterns and predictors of generic narrow therapeutic index drug use among older adults.. J Am Geriatr Soc 2013;61:1586-91.doi: 10.1111/jgs.12399. PubMed PMID: 24001285.
  15. Lieberman DA, Polinski JM, Choudhry NK, Avorn J, Fischer MA. Unintended consequences of a Medicaid prescription copayment policy.. Med Care 2014;52(5):422-7.doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000119. PubMed PMID: 24686394.
  16. Polinski JM, Brookhart MA, Ayanian JZ, Katz JN, Kim SC, Lii J, Tonner C, Yelin E, Solomon DH. Relationships between driving distance, rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug receipt. Arthr Care Res 2014.doi: 10.1002/acr.22333. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed PMID: 24664991.
  17. Polinski JM, Kesselheim AS, Frolkis JP, Wescott P, Allen-Coleman C, Fischer MA. A matter of trust: patient barriers to primary medication adherence. Health Educ Res 2014 (in press).