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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  • Good Samaritan penalized over patient injury rate

    December 31, 2017

    Brockton Wicked Local Alan Sager A city hospital is among just a handful statewide to be penalized by the federal government for its patient injury rate… Expert quote: “It would be interesting to to study a few hospitals where the fall and injury rates are very low and see what they do differently. Unfortunately, the […]

  • Hospitals are making a fortune on Wall Street

    December 7, 2017

    Axios Alan Sager The nation’s largest not-for-profit hospital systems reaped more than $21 billion last year from their Wall Street investments, mergers and other investment options, according to an Axios analysis of financial documents… Expert quote: “We don’t have anything close to what most people would see as a functioning, competitive market in hospital care. Hospitals […]

  • Insurers make billions off Medicaid in California during Obamacare expansion

    November 5, 2017

    The Los Angeles Times Alan Sager Medicaid is rarely associated with getting rich. The patients are poor, the budgets tight and payments to doctors often paltry… Expert quote: “California is being wildly open handed and excessively generous with insurers.” View full article

  • Lahey merger had mixed impact on Beverly, Gloucester

    October 10, 2017

    The Salem News Alan Sager A proposed merger between Lahey Health and Beth Israel Deaconess would be the largest in the state in two decades and would affect the health care of hundreds of thousands of people on the North Shore… Expert quote: “Hospitals often say that mergers are good for us, but really they […]

  • Experts warn GOP bills would do little to curb health care costs

    July 6, 2017

    WJLA quoting Alan Sager, School of Public Health “It may be a couple more weeks before the Senate votes on an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but critics say measures Republicans are considering would fail to stem the growing cost of health care in the U.S. even if they bring insurance […]

  • One state’s opioid crisis sheds light on national health-care debate

    June 30, 2017

    Christian Science Monitor quoting Alan Sager, School of Public Health “As the chief medical officer at a downtown hospital, William Goodman has seen how opioid abuse can ravage a community…” Expert quote: “Slashing and burning Medicaid and saying the states will find the money is the most gargantuan case of buck-passing in the history of […]

  • Health care: vote delayed, but calls to address costs keep growing

    June 27, 2017

    Christian Science Monitor quoting Alan Sager, School of Public Health “Senate Republicans have been forced into postponing major health care legislation in the United States Senate, and the backdrop is partly the difficult economics of health care: Costs for average Americans are high and rising, and the Senate legislation so far doesn’t appear to offer […]

  • How Big Pharma Is Limiting Access To A Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug

    June 2, 2017

    Huffington Post quoting Alan Sager, School of Public Health “Soaring prices for a life-saving drug have heavy-hitters in the pharmaceutical industry pointing fingers and shirking blame…” Expert quote: “They are supposed to use heavy-clout buying leverage to push prices down.” View full article. 

  • 7 Things That Will Happen If 14 Million More People Are Uninsured Next Year

    May 30, 2017

    Huffington Post quoting Alan Sager, School of Public Health “Next year, about 14 million more Americans could be uninsured if the House-passed version of health care becomes law, according to the Congressional Budget Office analysis, a more pressing issue than the estimated 23 million expected to be affected by 2026…” Expert quote: “The revenue cuts […]

  • Scott MacKay Commentary: Be Wary Of The Care New England-Boston Partners Hospital Merger

    April 25, 2017

    Rhode Island Public Radio  Alan Sagar, School of Public Health  “Boston’s big hospital system –Partners HealthCare—hopes to acquire Care New England, Rhode Island’s second largest hospital chain…” Expert quote: “At this point, it’s difficult to see how this deal advances those goals, says Boston University School of Public Health Professor Alan Sager.” View full article. 

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