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J. Franklin Wharam

Professor of Medicine
Medicine, General Internal Medicine
710 West Main Street, Durham, NC 27710
Dept of Med, Durham, NC 27710

Research Interests


Dr. Frank Wharam is a general internist and health policy researcher. He studies the impact of national and state policies on the health outcomes of chronically ill and vulnerable populations. His research often examines effects of health insurance benefit designs such as value-based, consumer-directed, and high-deductible health plans. Dr. Wharam also focuses on interventions that affect people with substance use disorders, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, and respiratory diseases. Other interests include the adverse effects of wasteful health care spending on medical and non-medical outcomes. He has expertise in rigorous quasi-experiment research designs, causal inference in observational data, and large claims data analyses.

Selected Grants


Impact of high deductible health plans and COVID-19 on alcohol use disorder treatment access, outcomes, and disparities

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2022 - 2026

Long-term Impact of Reduced Patient Out-of-pocket Costs on Diabetes Complications (NEXT-D 3) - Yr 3

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention · 2021 - 2025

Comparative effectiveness of anti-obesity medications for cardiometabolic health outcomes and health services use

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2023 - 2024

Oral Targeted Anticancer Medication Trends and Modifiable Use Predictors (OTAM)

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2021 - 2024

Impact of Medicare Part D opioid safety policies on disabled beneficiaries before and during the COVID-19 pandemic - Yr. 2

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2023 - 2024

Impact of high deductible health plans and COVID-19 on alcohol use disorder treatment access, outcomes, and disparities

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2022 - 2026

Long-term Impact of Reduced Patient Out-of-pocket Costs on Diabetes Complications (NEXT-D 3) - Yr 3

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention · 2021 - 2025

Comparative effectiveness of anti-obesity medications for cardiometabolic health outcomes and health services use

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2023 - 2024

Oral Targeted Anticancer Medication Trends and Modifiable Use Predictors (OTAM)

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2021 - 2024

Impact of Medicare Part D opioid safety policies on disabled beneficiaries before and during the COVID-19 pandemic - Yr. 2

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. · 2023 - 2024