Aathira Santhosh

Data and Policy Analyst, Acumen LLC/The SPHERE Institute

I work as a Data and Policy Analyst for Acumen LLC/The SPHERE Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. My company provides consulting and research services for the national, state and local government as well as non-profit organizations across the United States. Our clients are primarily the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services, but we also work with other U.S. Federal Agencies such as the Center of Disease and Drug Control, Food and Drug Administration, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation etc.

My team focuses on projects dealing with patients in acute post care hospitals, specifically Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF). We perform various tasks for the Center of Medicare such as evaluating the IRF prospective payment system, and monitoring provider behavior for any suspicious activity. I use SAS to create macros that manipulate Medicare claims datasets for statistical analyses and create workbooks that summarize findings for our clients. I find the work to be fast paced but also rewarding at the same time as I have a hand in assisting the government with policy making decisions that directly impact the current healthcare system in the United States.

I graduated with a B.Sc. in Statistics and Economics from SFU in June 2012 and pursued a M.A. in Economics at UVic right after. I found the courses offered by the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at SFU gave me the technical knowledge and strong programming background to be successful at my current job and with my course work in grad school. I particularly enjoyed learning how to use SAS and R to perform statistical analysis as both programs have a lot of demand in the current job market. In addition, the takeaway from the seminar on Statistics Communication has been really useful in helping me present my findings in front of a larger audience.

I would like to thank all of my professors at the Department and my classmates for making my four years at SFU a truly memorable experience.