Institute on Healthcare Systems

Schneider Institutes for Health Policy

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Welcome to the Institute on Healthcare Systems


The Institute on Healthcare Systems (IHS) is home to many innovations in healthcare research and policy, and is dedicated to providing rigorous technical solutions to policymakers and other stakeholders who are striving to improve quality, efficiency, and value.  We respect the complexity of healthcare, the corresponding need for rigorous and robust approaches to meaningful and stable reform, and the vital strength of empirical illumination and validation.

IHS was built originally on the vast experience in national health policy of our founders, Stuart Altman and Stan Wallack.  Their tradition continues with accomplishments of our director, Christopher Tompkins, including his leadership in developing the shared-savings payment model and related delivery system innovations, hospital value-based purchasing, and  a comprehensive episode-of-care system for Medicare and the public domain.  Similarly, our deputy director, Jennifer Perloff, has led IHS studies in value for capitated delivery systems, and the potential roles of nurse practitioners to implement sustainable delivery system reforms.

Christine Bishop is a national expert on financing of post-acute and long-term care, as well as the economics of healthcare labor markets. Donald Shepard and colleagues have done pioneering and enduring work in cost-effectiveness analysis, domestically and internationally.  John Chapman, Moaven Razavi and Chris Sistrom are leaders in developing groundbreaking tools and approaches for transforming substantial aspects of healthcare services.

IHS staff also covers a range of delivery systems issues, such as Cindy Thomas' work in prescription drug policy and state health reform. Given the broad range of work done at IHS, our research spans both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Jeff Prottas, for example, is an expert in program implementation and evaluative case studies. Grant Ritter provides expertise in statistics and econometric methods.  Palmira Santos spearheads organizational and delivery system reforms aimed at improving quality for vulnerable populations ranging from neonates to the elderly.  

As health care organizations increasingly enter new reimbursement arrangements like global and episode-based payment, Rob Mechanic has led several new studies evaluating how organizations are adapting to these new payment models.

Policy analysis is an important component of the work at IHS and is led by Rob Mechanic at the Health Industry Forum and Michael Doonan at the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum. 

Chris Tompkins signature


Stuart Altman was the 2018 Gustav O. Lienhard Award Recipient for the Advancement of Health Care, given for outstanding achievement in improving health care services in the U.S. which was awarded at the National Academy of Medicine Annual Meeting in Washington DC, October 2018 


new Publications

Santos, P., Joglekar, A., Faughnan, K., Darden, J., Masters, L., Hendrich, A., and McCoy, C.K. (2018). Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, Published online August 24, 2018.Sustaining and Spreading Quality Improvement: Decreasing Intrapartum Malpractice Risk

Muench, U., Guo, C., Thomas, C.P., and Perloff, J. (2018).Health Services Research, Published online October 3, 2018.Medication Adherence, Costs, and ER Visits of Nurse Practitioner and Primary Care Physician Patients: Evidence From Three Cohorts of Medicare Beneficiaries

Buerhaus, P., Perloff, J., Clarke, S., O'Reilly-Jacob, M., Zolotusky, G., and Des Roches, C.M. (2018) Medical Care, 56(6), pp. 484-490.Quality of Primary Care Provided to Medicare Beneficiaries by Nurse Practitioners and Physicians

Santos, P., Hefele, J.G., Ritter, G.A., Darden J., Firneno, C., and Hendrich, A. (2018) Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. 47(1), pp.32-42.Population-Based Risk Factors for shoulder Dystocia 

Thomas, C.P. J Addic Med. Published online August 7, 2018.Commentary: Addressing Workforce Needs for Medication Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

Perloff, J., Clarke, S., DeRoches, C.M., O'Reilly-Jacob, M., and Buerhaus, P. (2017). Medical Care Research and Review. Published online Sept. 14, 2017.Association of State-Level Restrictions in Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice with the Quality of Primary Care Provided to Medicare Beneficiaries

Landon, B.E., and Mechanic, R.E. (2017) New England Journal of Medicine. 377(13), pp. 1211-1213. The Parodox of Coding -- Policy Concerns Raised by Risk-Based Provider Contracts




The Third AnnualStanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture Series featured Guest Speaker Alan Weil, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs "The End of U.S. Health Policy" on December 10, 2018 sponsored by the Schnedier Institutes for Health Policy
Stuart  H. Altman, Chair of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission and Sol C Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy,The Heller School for Social Policy and Management was honoree of the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance from the National Academy of Social Insurance, June 27, 2018 



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