Stuart Altman

Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy

Stuart  Altman's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 214
Phone: 781-736-3803
Brandeis Directory


Healthcare economics and policy; healthcare industry reform, Medicare


  • HS 104b - American Health Care
  • HS 463a - National Health Policy
  • HS 513a - Issues in National Health Policy


  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • City College of New York

Stuart Altman

Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy


Dr. Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, is an economist with five decades of experience working closely with issues of federal and state health policy within government, the private sector, and academia.

He has demonstrated leadership in health care through service on numerous government advisory boards on both the federal and state levels, including service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health at the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) from 1971 to 1976; as Chairman of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPac) from 1984 to 1996; and in 1997 as an appointed member of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. In total, Dr. Altman acted as advisor to five U.S. presidential administrations. He also served as Chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee for the Evaluation of the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action in the 2015. In January 2016 Governor Charles Baker re-appointed Dr. Altman to chair the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission as part of the state's attempt to moderate the growth in healthcare spending.

Dr. Altman has also been recognized as a leader in the health care field by Health Affairs and by Modern Healthcare, which named him in 2006 among the 30 most influential people in health policy over the previous 30 years, and which from 2003 to 2011 named him one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care. In 2014 he was awarded the Graham Life Time Achievement Award in Health Services Research by the Association of Health Administration Programs. In 2017 he was the recipient of the Champion of Health and Wellness award by the Massachusetts Health Council and the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance from the National Academy of Social Insurance, and in October 2018 he was presented with the Gustave O. Lienhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine. He has served on the Board of Directors of several for-profit and not-for-profit companies, and he is a member of The Institute of Medicine and chairs the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University. He is a published author of numerous books and journal articles, the most recent, Beyond Antitrust: Health Care and Health Insurance Market Trends and the Future of Competition (2017) and Power, Politics and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle (2011). In addition to teaching at Brandeis, Dr. Altman has taught at Brown University and at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of North Carolina. He served as Dean of the Heller School from 1977 to 1993 and from 2005 to 2008. He also served as interim President of Brandeis University from 1990 to 1991.

Awards and Honors

  • Gustav O. Lienhard Award Recipient for Advancement of Health Care, National Academy of Medicine (2018)
  • Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance, National Academy of Social Insurance (2018)
  • Champion of Health and Wellness Award –Massachusetts Health Council (2017)
  • Interim Director of Schneider Institutes for Health Policy (2015)
  • Graham Life Time Achievement Award in Health Services Research (May 2014) (2014)
  • Chairman, Health Policy Commission, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2012)
  • Modern Health Care’s 100 Most Powerful People in Health Care (2010)
  • Distinguished Investigator's Award, Academy Health (2004)
  • 100 Most Powerful People in Health Care, Modern Health Care (2003 - 2008)
  • Co-Chair of the Government/Legislative Health Care Task Force for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2000 - 2004)
  • Person of the Year, Medicine and Health, in recognition of "courageous stand" on the Medicare Commission (1999)
  • US BiPartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare (1997 - 1999)
  • American Association of Medical Colleges Special Recognition Award (1996 - 1997)
  • Honorary Fellow, American College of Health Care Executives (1996 - 1997)
  • Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (1996)
  • Chair, Advisory Board, MA Savings Lives Program, Commonwealth Fund (1988 - 1989)
  • President, National Foundation Health Services Research (1985 - 1986)
  • Chair, U.S. Congress Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPAC) (1984 - 1996)
  • President, Association for Health Services Research (1983 - 1985)
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health Policy, U. S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, DC (1971 - 1976)


  • Altman, Stuart and Robert Mechanic. "Health Care Cost Control: Where Do We Go From Here?." Health Affairs Blog (2018).
  • Altman, Stuart. "Beyond Antitrust: Health Care And Health Insurance Market Trends And The Future Of Competition." Health Affairs 36. no.9 (2017): 1572-1577.
  • Maynard, A, and Altman, Stuart (co-author). "Redestribution and Redesign in Health Care: An Ebbing Tide in England versus Growing Concerns in the United States." Health Economics Editorial; (2017): :687-690..
  • Altman, Stuart and Mechanic, R.. "Limited Health Care Spending Growth Will Force Providers to Develop More Cost-Effective Delivery Systems." FutureScan 2015: Health Care Trends and Implications 2015-2020 (2016).
  • Altman, Stuart. "Should Israel be concerned by the high proportion of medical care paid for privately: comments from a U.S. perspective." Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 5. 11 (2016).
  • Altman, Stuart with E. Emanuel et al.. "A Systemic Approach to Containing Health Care Spending." New England Journal of Medicine Election 2012. (2012):
  • Altman, Stuart, with Rob Mechanic and John McDonough. "The New Era of Payment Reform, Spending Targets, and Cost Containment in Massachusetts: Early Lessons for the Nation.." Health Affairs 31. 10 (2012): 2334-2342.
  • Altman, Stuart. "The Lessons of Medicare's Prospective Payment System Show That The Bundled Payment Program Faces Challenges.." Health Affairs 31. 9 (2012): 1923-1931.
  • Altman, Stuart and David Shactman.. Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2011.
  • Altman, Stuart and Rob Mechanic. "Medicare’s Opportunity to Encourage Innovation in Health Care Delivery." New England Journal of Medicine 362. 9 (2010): 772-774.
  • Altman, Stuart and Rob Mechanic. "Payment Reform Options: Episode Payment Is A Good Place to Start." Health Affairs, 28. 1 (2010): w262-w271.
  • Altman, Stuart. "Legacy of Practicality, Compromise." Modern Healthcare 7. 39 (2010): 16.
  • Altman, Stuart and Michael Doonan. "Healthcare Insurance: The Massachusetts Plan." The Business of Healthcare: Improving Systems of Care. vol. 3, 2008
  • Altman, Stuart. "A cure for spiraling healthcare costs." The Boston Globe
  • Altman, Stuart. "We need his influence not his plan." Modern Healthcare (2007).
  • Altman, Stuart. Will the US Continue to Allocate a Greater Portion of the GDP to Healthcare?. Federal Reserve Board Boston Chapter. Boston: 2007.
  • Altman, Stuart. "A Message to Governor-Elect Patrick: Help Lower Private Health Insurance Premiums." The Boston Globe Op E
  • Altman, Stuart. "Can Massachusetts Lead the Way in Health Care Reform." New England Journal of Medicine (2006).
  • Altman, Stuart; Chris Tompkins and Efrat Eilat. "The Precarious Hospital Pricing System." Health Affairs 25. 1 (2006): 45-56.
  • Altman, Stuart; David Shactman and Efrat Eilat. "MIssions vs. Market: Could US Hospitals Go The Way Of US Airline." Health Affairs 25. 1 (2006): 11-21.
  • Altman, Stuart and David Shactman. "More Beds for Boomers." Modern Healthcare (2004).
  • Altman, Stuart; David Shactman and Efrat Eilat. The Outlook for U. S Hospitals: Forces Driving Spending Growth and Revenue Constraints and Their Implications for Israel. 2004.
  • Altman, Stuart, co-edited with Uwe Reinhardt, ed. Strategic Choices for a Changing Health Care System. Chicago IL; Health Administration Press, 1996.
  • Altman, Stuart, co-ed. Charles Brecher, Mary Henderson & K. Thorp, ed. Competition and Compassion: Conflicting Roles for Hospitals. Ann Arbor MI, 1989.
  • Altman, Stuart, with Joanna Lion & Judith LaVor Williams. Ambulatory Care: Problems of Cost and Access. Lexington Books, 1983.
  • Altman, Stuart, co-ed. Harvey Sapoksly Lexington. Federal Health Problems: Problems and Prospects. MA; Lexington Books, 1981.