Michael Shwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Shwartz is the Richard D. Cohen Professor in Management and a Professor of Health Care and Operations Management in the BU School of Management. He has been active in health services research and program evaluation for over 35 years. His early research focused on the development and use of mathematical models of disease processes to analyze the cost-effectiveness of screening programs. His research interests over time have included: analysis of healthcare costs and case mix; payment methods and risk adjustment; utilization, appropriateness and quality of care; and analysis of practice pattern variations and provider profiling. Dr. Shwartz also has studied the relationship between small area variations in Medicare hospitalization rates and the appropriateness of hospitalizations, and has examined the extent to which “more disease” accounts for small area variations in hospitalization rates. From 1988 to 1991, Professor Shwartz was on leave from the School of Management, serving as founding Director of the Institute for Urban Health Policy and Research within the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals.
At the HPI, he has played an important role in: the evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pursuing Perfection Program; the Commonwealth Fund-sponsored survey of U.S. hospitals regarding their quality improvement (QI) activities; and the Commonwealth Fund study of the relationship of between hospital QI activities and various performance measures, including survey-assessed quality measures and risk-adjusted measures of efficiency, mortality, readmissions, and patient satisfaction. He currently is involved in research projects that analyze: 1) the effect of alternative approaches for calculating composite measures of performance from individual performance indicators, and examines the relationship between composite measures and organizational and leadership characteristics and costs; 2) the validity of the Patient Safety Indicators as measures of quality of care; 3) the effect of adding laboratory and pharmacy data to risk-adjustment systems; 4) the impact of alternative approaches for profiling healthcare facilities; and 5) the use of readmission rates as indicators of quality of care. Dr. Shwartz also is a senior researcher at the VA’s Center for Organization, Leadership and Management Research and is a Deputy Editor of Medical Care. He has served as a member of the Health Care Technology Study Section of the NCHSR (1986-1990) and as a member of the VA Scientific Merit Review Board (2005-2009). He received his B.A. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, his M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan.