Alan Sager

Professor, Health Policy & Management
School of Public Health

Expertise:
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Education:

Brandeis University, BA
University of Miami, MEd
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD

Contact Info:

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Alan Sager specialized in health in graduate school because it looked like the easiest sector in which to win affordable equity for all Americans since so much money was already spent on medical care. (Not easy-just easier than anything else.) His main interests are health reform, combining universal coverage with cost control, improving both finance… Read more

Alan Sager specialized in health in graduate school because it looked like the easiest sector in which to win affordable equity for all Americans since so much money was already spent on medical care. (Not easy-just easier than anything else.) His main interests are health reform, combining universal coverage with cost control, improving both finance and delivery, and preserving needed physician, hospital, and long-term care services. He has studied causes and effects of urban hospital closings, finding a strong and persistent link between race of the people living near a hospital and the probability of closing. Hospital efficiency doesn’t predicts survival. With his fellow-director of the Health Reform Program, Deborah Socolar ’89, he has investigated the sources of high health costs in Massachusetts and designed methods to cover all uninsured residents without increasing spending. During the past decade, he and Debbie have studied the causes of high U.S. pharmaceutical prices. They have designed a “prescription drug peace treaty” that fully covers all Americans at a small added cost, while protecting and energizing drug makers’ innovative research. They found that the 2003 Medicare law providing a drug benefit would boost drug makers’ profits by one-third because it failed to constrain prices meaningfully. Alan designed a “time banking” method of mobilizing voluntary help for people with disabilities. By creating a market for good deeds, it allows volunteers to help others when convenient. Time would be banked.  Former volunteers who themselves needed help could trade their banked time for help from a new volunteer. Policy and research interests include equal access to health care, cost control, hospital survival, long-term care, health reform.  Alan holds a B.A. in economics from Brandeis and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning (specializing in health care) from MIT.

In the Media

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  • Beth Israel And Lahey Health Again Propose Merger

    January 31, 2017

    WBUR Alan Sager, School of Public Health Lahey Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) are again proposing to merge… Expert quote: “If you want competition, if it’s the only game in town to rein in health care costs, you need more competitors,” View full article

  • Hospitals Team Up With Biggest Names In Pro Sports For Brand Awareness, Wellness

    July 11, 2016

    Hospitals & Health Networks Alan Sager, School of Public Health Leading health systems ink partnerships with NBA, NHL, MLB and even MLL affiliates… Expert quote: “This is not part of the real world of providing information to patients so they can choose based on price and effectiveness of care. Money spent on image building is […]

  • Hospital fees under scrutiny

    June 12, 2016

    Citizens’ Voice Alan Sager, School of Public Health The two visits Jack Mills made to an orthopedic surgeon’s offices in Pittston and Bethlehem last year were virtually identical… Expert quote: “At a time of soaring out-of-pocket fees … the added burden of facility fees kicks Americans while they are down. Patients are made to pay […]

  • Do bigger executive paychecks help hospitals stay competitive?

    April 28, 2016

    Becker’s Hospital Review Alan Sager, School of Public Health Amid falling profits, Massachusetts hospitals are investing in executives to withstand the the changing healthcare landscape, according to an in-depth report on nonprofit compensation by the Lowell Sun… View full article quoting expert Alan Sager

  • As hospital profits fall, executive pay soars

    April 24, 2016

    Lowell Sun Alan Sager, School of Public Health It has been a lean couple of years for the region’s hospitals… Expert quote: “We could ask people: If they didn’t know how much other CEOs were paid, how much would they need to do the job?” View full article

  • After hospital and ER closures, Baton Rouge EMS finds that ambulance transport times increase

    April 10, 2016

    The Advocate Alan Sager, School of Public Health It took ambulances carrying Baton Rouge patients two minutes longer on average to arrive at an emergency room last year than it did in 2012, before two ERs closed in the city… Expert quote: “If you go downhill and abandon or relocate emergency rooms, operating rooms, stat […]

  • What’s Behind That Medical Referral?

    April 8, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report Alan Sager, School of Public Health Understanding why a specialist is recommended can help you determin if the doctor is right for you. Expert quote: “I think the overall shortage and geographic maldistribution of primaries is a bigger factor than the financial. We may have only half or two-thirds as […]

  • What’s Behind That Medical Referral?

    April 7, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report Alan Sager, School of Public Health Understanding why a specialist is recommended can help you determine if the doctor is right for you… Expert quote: “I think the overall shortage and geographic maldistribution of primaries is a bigger factor than the financial. We may have only half or two-thirds as […]

  • Clinton’s Health Plan Gets Mostly Passing Grades From Policy Experts

    March 15, 2016

    MedPage Today Alan Sager, School of Public Health Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ideas for improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) drew cautious praise from health policy scholars, but they said they had no chance of enactment without a major change in Congressional attitudes… Expert quote: “For private employers it’s very tough today, since employers […]

  • Lahey moving onto Lowell General’s turf

    January 26, 2016

    Lowell Sun Alan Sager, School of Public Health Lahey Hospital & Medical Center will soon open a primary-care facility in Pawtucketville, practically in the front yard of Lowell General Hospital, among its closest competitors… Expert quote: “The competition is mostly around the edges.” View full article

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