Alan Cohen

Research Professor, Markets, Public Policy, and Law
  • Phone 617-353-9222
  • Office 670
  • BOSTON UNIVERSITY
    Questrom School of Business
    Rafik B. Hariri Building
    595 Commonwealth Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215

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Alan B. Cohen, Sc.D. is a Research Professor in the Markets, Public Policy and Law Department of the Questrom School of Business, and Professor of Health Law, Policy and Management in the BU School of Public Health. He also is Editor of The Milbank Quarterly, a leading multidisciplinary journal of population health and health policy. He served as national program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program from 2013 to 2018, and also directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program from 1992 to 2016. At BU since 1994, he directed the Questrom School’s Health Care MBA Program for nine years (1994-2003), and the Boston University Health Policy Institute for ten years (2003-2013). His current research interests include: national health policy and health system reform; comparative health care systems; and evaluation of quality improvement initiatives. Earlier in his career, Dr. Cohen held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and Brandeis University, and spent eight years at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, serving as Vice President for Research and Evaluation for five years. He is principal author of Technology in American Health Care: Policy Directions for Effective Evaluation and Management (Michigan, 2004); co-editor of Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care (Oxford, 2015); and co-editor of "The Politics and Challenges of Achieving Health Equity," a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Duke, 2017). Dr. Cohen is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and a former editorial board member of Health Affairs, Inquiry, and the Journal of Health Organization and Management. He served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in 2013-2015, and currently is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the National Health Service's Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom. He received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Rochester, and his M.S. and Sc.D. in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Education
  • ScD, Harvard University, 1983
  • MS, Harvard University, 1975
  • BA, University of Rochester, 1973
    Publications
  • Cohen, A., Galea, S., Lantz, P. (In Press). "Population Health Over the Next Decade: Major Challenges and Policy Prospects", Milbank Quarterly, 101 (Special Issue), 1-12
  • Cohen, A. (In Press). "From the Editor: In the March 2023 Issue of the Quarterly.", Milbank Quarterly, 101 (1), 5-10
  • Restuccia, J., Cohen, A., Horwitt, J., Shwartz, M. (In Press). "Hospital Implementation of Health Information Technology and Quality of Care: Are They Related?", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Katchmar, A., Cohen, A. (2024). "A National Benefit for Cell and Gene Therapies: A Proposed Framework", Health Affairs Forefront
  • COHEN, A. (2023). "In the December 2023 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 101 (4), 1003-1008
  • COHEN, A. (2023). "In the September 2023 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 101 (3), 641-645
  • COHEN, A. (2023). "In the June 2023 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 101 (2), 253-258
  • Cohen, A., Galea, S., Lantz, P. (2023). "Population Health Over the Next Decade: Celebrating The Milbank Quarterly’s Centennial", AcademyHealth
  • (2023). "Special Centennial Issue: The Future of Population Health: Challenges and Opportunities", Wiley
  • COHEN, A. (2022). "In the December 2022 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 100 (4), 967-972
  • COHEN, A. (2022). "In the September 2022 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 100 (3), 621-627
  • COHEN, A. (2022). "Confronting the Past to Right a Wrong", The Milbank Quarterly, 100 (2), 319-322
  • COHEN, A. (2022). "In the March 2022 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 100 (1), 5-10
  • COHEN, A. (2021). "In the December 2021 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 99 (4), 857-863
  • Cohen, A., Katchmar, A. (2021). "Rationing Health Care in the Time of COVID", Milbank Quarterly
  • COHEN, A. (2021). "In the September 2021 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 99 (3), 605-609
  • COHEN, A. (2021). "2020—The Year of Living Dangerously in a COVID-19 World", The Milbank Quarterly, 99 (2), 333-339
  • Cohen, A. (2021). "In the March 2021 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 99 (1), 5-8
  • Galea, S., Gostin, L., Cohen, A., Lurie, N. (2021). "Eight Operational Suggestions for a Renewed CDC", Milbank Quarterly
  • COHEN, A. (2020). "In the December 2020 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 98 (4), 1027-1032
  • Cohen, A. (2020). "In the September 2020 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 98 (3), 623-628
  • COHEN, A. (2020). "Living in a Covid-19 World", The Milbank Quarterly, 98 (2), 227-234
  • COHEN, A. (2020). "In the March 2020 Issue of The Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 98 (1), 5-9
  • Cohen, A. (2019). "In the December 2019 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 97 (4), 1-6
  • COHEN, A. (2019). "In the September 2019 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 97 (3), 627-630
  • COHEN, A. (2019). "In the June 2019 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 97 (2), 375-377
  • COHEN, A. (2019). "In the March 2019 Issue of the Quarterly", The Milbank Quarterly, 97 (1), 7-10
  • COHEN, A. (2018). "To Our Readers and Authors", The Milbank Quarterly, 96 (4), 611-614
  • Villa, S., Restuccia, J., Anessi-Pessina, E., Rizzo, M., Cohen, A. (2018). "Quality improvement strategies and tools: A comparative analysis between Italy and the United States.", Health Services Management Research, 31 (4), 205-217
  • Horný, M., Shwartz, M., Duszak, R., Christiansen, C., Cohen, A., Burgess, J. (2018). "Characteristics of State Policies Impact Health Care Delivery: An Analysis of Mammographic Dense Breast Notification and Insurance Legislation.", Med Care, 56 (9), 798-804
  • Cohen, A. (2018). "Building Human Capital in Health Policy Research II: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research", Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Cohen, A. (2018). "A History of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program: 25 Years of Pursuing Excellence in Health Policy Research", Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Horný, M., Cohen, A., Duszak, R., Christiansen, C., Shwartz, M., Burgess, J. (2018). "Dense Breast Notification Laws: Impact on Downstream Imaging After Screening Mammography", Medical Care Research and Review
  • Cohen, A. (2017). "Point-Counterpoint: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Medical Care and the Issue of Economic Model Transparency.", Med Care, 55 (11), 907-908
  • Cohen, A., Grogan, C., Horwitt, J. (2017). "Special Issue: The Politics and Challenges of Achieving Health Equity", Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Duke University Press
  • Cohen, A., Grogan, C., Horwitt, J. (2017). "The Many Roads toward Achieving Health Equity.", J Health Polit Policy Law, 42 (5), 739-748
  • Cohen, A. (2017). "Building Human Capital in Health Policy Research I: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program", Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Horný, M., Burgess, J., Cohen, A. (2015). "Advanced Imaging Utilization Trends in Privately Insured Patients From 2007 to 2013.", J Am Coll Radiol, 12 (12 Pt B), 1380-1387.e4
  • Cohen, A., Colby, D., Wailoo, K., Zelizer, J. (2015). "Medicare and Medicaid at 50 America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care", Oxford University Press
  • McHugh, M., Kang, R., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Periyanayagam, U., Hasnain-Wynia, R. (2015). "Use of quality improvement interventions and the link to performance on percutaneous intervention for acute myocardial infarction", Journal of Emergency Medicine, 48 (6), 744-750
  • Cohen, A. (2015). Introduction: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Moral Test of Government."Medicare and Medicaid at 50 America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care", Oxford University Press, USA xi-xx
  • Cohen, A. (2015). Conclusion: The World That Medicare and Medicaid Made."Medicare and Medicaid at 50 America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care", Oxford University Press, USA
  • Horny, M., Burgess, J., Horwitt, J., Cohen, A. (2014). "Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Privately Insured Patients: Recent Trends in Utilization and Payments", Journal of the American College of Radiology, 11 (7), 692-697
  • Baurer, D., Yonek, J., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Hasnain-Wynia, R. (2014). "System-Level Factors Affecting Clinicians' Perceptions and Use of Interpreter Services in California Public Hospitals", Journal of Immigrant Health, 16 (2), 211-217
  • Gauld, R., Burgers, J., Dobrow, M., Minhas, R., Wendt, C., Cohen, A., Luxford, K. (2014). "Healthcare system performance improvement A comparison of key policies in seven high-income countries", Journal of Health Organization and Management, 28 (1), 2-20
  • Griffiths, F., Cave, J., Boardman, F., Ren, J., Pawlikowska, T., Ball, R., Clarke, A., Cohen, A. (2012). "Social networks--the future for health care delivery.", Soc Sci Med, 75 (12), 2233-2241
  • Restuccia, J., Cohen, A., Horwitt, J., Shwartz, M. (2012). "Hospital implementation of health information technology and quality of care: are they related?", BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 12
  • Gauld, R., Burgers, J., Dobrow, M., Luxford, K., Minhas, R., Wendt, C., Cohen, A. (2012). "Quality improvement, information technology and primary care can improve healthcare system performance. But are policy makers promoting them?", International Journal of Clinical Practice, 66 (9), 827-833
  • Cohen, A. (2012). "The Debate Over Health Care Rationing: Deja Vu All Over Again?", INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 49 (2), 90-100
  • (2012). "Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform", INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 49 (2), 176-177
  • McHugh, M., Kang, R., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Hasnain-Wynia, R. (2012). "Reporting information on emergency department crowding to the hospital board and delivery of time-sensitive care.", Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 38 (5), 229-234
  • Gauld, R., Blank, R., Burgers, J., Cohen, A., Dobrow, M., Ikegami, N., Kwon, S., Luxford, K., Millett, C., Wendt, C. (2012). "The World Health Report 2008 – Primary Healthcare: How Wide Is the Gap between Its Agenda and Implementation in 12 High-Income Health Systems?", Healthcare Policy | Politiques de Santé, 7 (3), 38-58
  • McHugh, M., Kang, R., Restuccia, J., Cohen, A., Hasnain-Wynia, R. (2011). "13 Quality Improvement Strategies and the Link to Performance on Percutaneous Intervention for Acute Myocardial Infarction", Annals of Emergency Medicine, 58 (4), S181-S182
  • Shwartz, M., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Ren, Z., Labonte, A., Theokary, C., Kang, R., Horwitt, J. (2011). "How Well Can We Identify the High-Performing Hospital?", Medical Care Research and Review, 68 (3), 290-310
  • Dieterich, S., Cavedon, C., Chuang, C., Cohen, A., Garrett, J., Lee, C., Lowenstein, J., d'souza, M., Taylor, D., Wu, X., Yu, C. (2011). "Report of AAPM TG 135: Quality assurance for robotic radiosurgery", Medical Physics, 38 (6Part1), 2914-2936
  • Gauld, R., Horwitt, J., Williams, S., Cohen, A. (2011). "What Strategies Do US Hospitals Employ to Reduce Unwarranted Clinical Practice Variations?", American Journal of Medical Quality, 26 (2), 120-126
  • Clarke, A., Cohen, A. (2010). "Bringing it all back home: can Europeans learn from recent moves toward the medical home in US primary health care reform?", European Journal of Public Health, 20 (6), 613-614
  • Shwartz, M., Cramer, I., Holmes, S., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., VanDeusen Lukas, C., Sullivan, J., Charns, M. (2010). "Survey-assessed quality and organizational factors related to quality in Pursuing Perfection hospitals.", Quality Management in Health Care, 19 (4), 349-363
  • McHugh, M., Kang, R., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Hasnain-Wynia, R. (2010). "279: Reporting Patient Flow Measures to the Hospital Board and Performance on Percutaneous Intervention for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Is There an Association?", Annals of Emergency Medicine, 56 (3), S92-S92
  • Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Shwartz, M., Drake, J., Kang, R., Kralovec, P., Holmes, S., Margolin, F., Bohr, D. (2008). "A survey of hospital quality improvement activities", Medical Care Research and Review, 65 (5), 571-595
  • Shwartz, M., Ren, J., Pekoz, E., Wang, X., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J. (2008). "Estimating a composite measure of hospital quality from the hospital compare database - Differences when using a Bayesian hierarchical latent variable model versus denominator-based weights", Medical Care, 46 (8), 778-785
  • Lukas, C., Holmes, S., Cohen, A., Restuccia, J., Cramer, I., Shwartz, M., Charns, M. (2007). "Transformational change in health care systems: An organizational model", Health Care Management Review, 32 (4), 309-320
  • Cohen, A. (2004). "Technology in American Health Care", Univ of Michigan Pr
  • Cohen, A. (2003). "Health care affordability", Health Affairs, 22 (5), 260-260
  • Cohen, A. (1999). "Commentary - Hitting the "target" in health care cost control", JOURNAL OF HEALTH POLITICS POLICY AND LAW, 24 (4), 697-703
  • Cohen, A. (1999). "Hitting the "target" in health care cost control.", J Health Polit Policy Law, 24 (4), 697-703
  • Cohen, A. (1998). "Managed care, medical technology, and health care cost growth: A review of the evidence - Commentary", MEDICAL CARE RESEARCH AND REVIEW, 55 (3), 289-297
  • Shortell, S., O'Brien, J. (1994). "Evaluating new ways of managing quality: an interview with Stephen M. Shortell and Jim O'Brien. Interview by Alan B. Cohen.", Jt Comm J Qual Improv, 20 (2), 90-96
  • Blendon, R., Donelan, K., Leitman, R., Epstein, A., Cantor, J., Cohen, A., Morrison, I., Moloney, T., Koeck, C., Levitt, S. (1993). "Physicians' perspectives on caring for patients in the United States, Canada, and West Germany.", N Engl J Med, 328 (14), 1011-1016
  • Altman, S., Cohen, A. (1993). "The need for a national global budget.", Health Aff (Millwood), 12 Suppl 194-203
  • Kilbreth, E., Cohen, A. (1993). "Strategic choices for cost containment under a reformed U.S. health care system.", Inquiry, 30 (4), 372-388
  • Blendon, R., Donelan, K., Leitman, R., Epstein, A., Cantor, J., Cohen, A., Morrison, I., Moloney, T., Koeck, C. (1993). "Health reform lessons learned from physicians in three nations.", Health Aff (Millwood), 12 (3), 194-203
  • Hadley, J., Cantor, J., Willke, R., Feder, J., Cohen, A. (1992). "Young physicians most and least likely to have second thoughts about a career in medicine.", Acad Med, 67 (3), 180-190
  • Gauthier, A., Rogal, D., Barrand, N., Cohen, A. (1992). "Administrative costs in the U.S. health care system: the problem or the solution?", Inquiry, 29 (3), 308-320
  • Cantor, J., Cohen, A., Barker, D., Shuster, A., Reynolds, R. (1991). "Medical educators' views on medical education reform.", JAMA, 265 (8), 1002-1006
  • Kabcenell, A., Cohen, A., Merrill, J. (1991). "Importing a model of hospital quality from The Netherlands.", Health Aff (Millwood), 10 (3), 240-245
  • Cantor, J., Barrand, N., Desonia, R., Cohen, A., Merrill, J. (1991). "Translating opinion into action.", Health Aff (Millwood), 10 (2), 222-223
  • Cantor, J., Barrand, N., Desonia, R., Cohen, A., Merrill, J. (1991). "Business leaders' views on American health care.", Health Aff (Millwood), 10 (1), 98-105
  • Cohen, A., Cantor, J., Barker, D., Hughes, R. (1990). "Young physicians and the future of the medical profession.", Health Aff (Millwood), 9 (4), 138-148
  • Cohen, A. (1990). "A foundation's response to the need for better health statistics.", Health Aff (Millwood), 9 (1), 148-149
  • Merrill, J., Cohen, A. (1987). "The emperor's new clothes: unraveling the myths about rationing.", Inquiry, 24 (2), 105-109
  • Cohen, A., Hall, K., Cohodes, D. (1985). "Evaluation readiness: improved evaluation planning using a data inventory framework.", Eval Program Plann, 8 (4), 315-326
  • Cohen, A., Rock, R. (1985). "Changing health policies and clinical laboratory services.", J Health Care Technol, 1 (4), 237-255
  • Thompson, M., Cohen, A. (1982). "Should we measure personal valuations of perinatal outcomes?", Mead Johnson Symp Perinat Dev Med (20), 47-52
  • Cohen, A., Klapholz, H., Thompson, M. (1982). "Electronic fetal monitoring and clinical practice. A survey of obstetric opinion.", Med Decis Making, 2 (1), 79-95
  • Cohen, A., Cohodes, D. (1982). "Certificate of need and low capital-cost medical technology.", Milbank Mem Fund Q Health Soc, 60 (2), 307-328
  • Thompson, M., Cohen, A., Fortess, E. (1981). "Evaluation of diagnostic procedures: a review of the issues.", Eval Program Plann, 4 (3-4), 385-396
    Research Presentations
  • Cohen, A. Trends in the Financing and Ownership of US Health Care, Webinar on Trends in Financing and Ownership of US Health Care, Online, 2023
  • Galea, S. , Cohen, A. The Future of Population Health (Part 1): Public Health Systems and Structures, BU Public Health Conversations, Boston University, 2023
  • Cohen, A. “Meet the Editors.” Participant in a panel discussion of editors of leading medical and health policy journals, Zoom session sponsored by AcademyHealth., AcademyHealth, Virtual, 2021
  • Cohen, A. “Hopes for Health in the Biden Administration.” Moderator of a panel discussion with Elena Fuentes-Afflick, Rashawn Ray, Paula Lantz, and Lawrence Gostin, Zoom session co-hosted by the Boston University School of Public Health and The Milbank Quarterly, February 4, 2021., Hopes for Health, Virtual - BU School of Public Health, 2021
    Awards and Honors
  • 2015, 2015 Outstanding Paper Award
  • 2012, Luminary
  • 2010, William Evans Visiting Fellowship
  • 2009, Provost's Research Fellow
  • 2009, Listed in American Men & Women of Science
  • 2001, Listed in Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care
  • 2000, Elected to membership
  • 1999, Listed in Who's Who in the World
  • 1998, Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society
  • 1997, Fellow of AcademyHealth
  • 1992, Listed in Who's Who in America
  • 1987, First Award, Editorial or Column in a Scholarly Journal
  • 1979, Charles F. Wilinsky Award
  • 1979, Dissertation Grant Award
  • 1974, Fellowship in Health Policy and Management