Megan Cole Brahim

Megan B. Cole Brahim, PhD

Associate Professor, Health Law, Policy & Management - Boston University School of Public Health


Dr. Cole is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management at Boston University School of Public Health and co-director of the BU Medicaid Policy Lab. She is a health services researcher who uses econometric methods to study how Medicaid policy and innovative care delivery models affect quality of care, access to care, and racial equity of care for Medicaid and other low-income, safety-net populations, especially those served by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Other research examines access to and use of health insurance. Recent work in these areas has focused on mental health, maternal health, and chronic disease populations. Most of this work leverages large datasets, including national Medicaid claims data; All Payer Claims Data (APCD); electronic health record (EHR) data; and national and statewide patient survey data.

Dr. Cole is the Principal Investigator (PI) of national and statewide research studies that are funded by the NIH. She leads an R01 that examines how Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) models impact quality and equity of care for pregnant and postpartum patients. She is also PI on research examining how Medicaid ACOs address unmet social needs (e.g., food insecurity, housing insecurity) of patients. She leads other work that evaluates how rapid adoption of telehealth during COVID-19 mitigated, or exacerbated, disparities in quality of care among Medicaid-enrollees served by FQHCs, particularly among patients with mental health needs, pregnant patients, and patients with diabetes.

Examples of other recent and ongoing work include examining the impact of Medicaid eligibility expansions on coverage, quality of care, access to care, and equity within low-income populations; evaluating the impact of integrating behavioral health into primary care at FQHCs; evaluating how a telehealth navigator intervention may impact racial disparities in hypertension outcomes for patients served by FQHCs; understanding the impact of COVID-19 on FQHCs and the role of FQHCs in enabling equitable access to care during the pandemic; and assessing the role of under-insurance (e.g., high deductible health plans) in access to care for low-income, racial/ethnic minoritized, and other marginalized populations.

Dr. Cole completed her PhD in Health Services Research at Brown University School of Public Health and received an MPH in Health Policy from Yale University School of Public Health. She previously worked in research consulting, where she worked with state and federal agencies on Medicaid policy and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She currently serves as co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management and serves on the editorial board of Health Services Research. Her work has been covered by outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Vox, US News & World Report, The Hill, and Forbes.


  • Brown University, PhD Field of Study: Health Services Research
  • Yale University, MPH Field of Study: Health Administration
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, BS Field of Study: Public Health

Classes Taught

  • SPHPM931
  • SPHPM932


  • Published on 1/1/2024

    From the Editors. J Ambul Care Manage. 2024 Jan-Mar 01; 47(1):1-2. PMID: 37994508.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/21/2023

    Staloff J, Cole MB, Frogner B, Sabbatini AK. National and State-Level Trends in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services at Federally Qualified Health Centers, 2012-2019. J Community Health. 2023 Nov 21. PMID: 37985556.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/3/2023

    Nguyen KH, Cole MB. Editorial: Meeting the Needs of Federally Qualified Health Center Patients Following the Public Health Emergency Unwinding. J Ambul Care Manage. 2024 Jan-Mar 01; 47(1):43-47. PMID: 37994513.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/3/2023

    Gordon SH, Cole MB, Huberfeld N. Georgia Pathways-Partial Medicaid Expansion With Work Requirements and Premiums. JAMA. 2023 Oct 03; 330(13):1225-1226. PMID: 37713204.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2023

    From the Editors. J Ambul Care Manage. 2023 Oct-Dec 01; 46(4):263-264. PMID: 37651738.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/16/2023

    Giron NC, Cole MB, Nguyen KH. Use of and barriers to adopting standardized social risk screening tools in federally qualified health centers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Serv Res. 2023 Sep 16. PMID: 37715519.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2023

    From the Editors. J Ambul Care Manage. 2023 Jul-Sep 01; 46(3):181-182. PMID: 37223886.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/2/2023

    Lee EK, Donley G, Ciesielski TH, Freedman DA, Cole MB. Spatial availability of federally qualified health centers and disparities in health services utilization in medically underserved areas. Soc Sci Med. 2023 Jul; 328:116009. PMID: 37301106.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/18/2023

    Hanchate AD, Strackman BW, Lin M, Paasche-Orlow MK, Lasser KE, Cole MB. Medicaid expansion associated with no change in emergency department use across racial and ethnic groups. Health Serv Res. 2023 Oct; 58(5):1014-1023. PMID: 37202905.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/7/2023

    Cole MB, Lee EK, Frogner BK, Wright B. Changes in Performance Measures and Service Volume at US Federally Qualified Health Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Health Forum. 2023 Apr 07; 4(4):e230351. PMID: 37027165.

    Read At: PubMed

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