Brian Paciotti

Healthcare Data Scientist


Brian Paciotti received a PhD in Human Ecology from the University of California, Davis. His dissertation used ethnography and economic “games” to understand cooperative behavior among Tanzanian ethnic groups. After the Tanzanian government accused him of being a CIA spy, he left the country and analyzed US homicide data. Brian earned a Health Informatics master’s degree from UC Davis in 2010 where he used data mining techniques to understand the quality of hospital data. Brian has skills in database and statistical programming, and has extensive experience working with a variety of healthcare datasets (e.g., claims data, electronic health records (EHR)). These skills were developed by working in a variety of healthcare settings—both private and public. In the public sector, Brian worked for the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to measure statewide hospital quality with risk-adjusted “report cards”. He later started working for UC Davis to provide informatics and statistical services to research projects related to autism and clinical outcomes. Brian joined the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement in 2012, where he worked as a consultant to the Directors Office at the California Department of Health Care Services (Medi-Cal). Working for Medi-Cal, Brian created analytical reports related to health disparities and Medi-Cal’s highest cost members. In the private sector, continuing with Medicaid research and data science, Brian worked for a health analytics company called Optum where he provided analytical consulting services to Medi-Cal. In addition, he worked for an analytics start-up company to create algorithms to identify providers with problems in their billing documentation. The analytical output, helped providers participating in Medicare and government health exchanges identify “gaps” in diagnosis coding the result in missed revenue opportunities. Brian currently works in the Research IT department at the UC Davis Health System where he transforms complex raw clinical data into actionable information. In addition, he is a volunteer clinical faculty member for the UC Davis Department of Public Health where he supports MPH students and advises faculty members about how to access and transform clinical data. Concerning independent research, Brian is working on a popular press book to help people understand how the transmission of culture and human processes associated with cognitive categorization lead to important outcomes with how people think and understand abstract topics such as medical informatics. Overall, Brian is passionate to improve health services using data and science—he believes that that data, information, and knowledge from a variety of sources will offer opportunities to improve quality and lower costs. Outside of work, Brian enjoys skiing, fly-fishing, hiking, writing, and world travel. Some recent trips include Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Taiwan, New Zealand Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.