Welcome to the Institute on Healthcare Systems

Jennifer Perloff, PhD'06, Director, Institute on Healthcare Systems
Jennifer Perloff, PhD'06, Director

The Institute on Healthcare Systems (IHS) is home to many innovations in healthcare research and policy, and is dedicated to providing rigorous technical solutions to policymakers and other stakeholders who are striving to improve quality, efficiency, and value. We respect the complexity of healthcare, the corresponding need for rigorous and robust approaches to meaningful and stable reform, and the vital strength of empirical illumination and validation.

IHS was built originally on the vast experience in national health policy of our founders, Stuart Altman and Stan Wallack. Their tradition continues with the accomplishments of our director, Jennifer Perloff, who has led IHS studies in value for capitated delivery systems, and the potential roles of nurse practitioners to implement sustainable delivery system reforms.

Senior advisor and former director Christopher Tompkins has been a leader in developing the shared-savings payment model and related delivery system innovations, hospital value-based purchasing, and  a comprehensive episode-of-care system for Medicare and the public domain. Christine Bishop is a national expert on financing of post-acute and long-term care, as well as the economics of healthcare labor markets. Donald Shepard and colleagues have done pioneering and enduring work in cost-effectiveness analysis, domestically and internationally. John Chapman, Moaven Razavi and Chris Sistrom are leaders in developing groundbreaking tools and approaches for transforming substantial aspects of healthcare services.

IHS staff also covers a range of delivery systems issues, such as Cindy Thomas' work in prescription drug policy and state health reform. Given the broad range of work done at IHS, our research spans both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Jeff Prottas, for example, is an expert in program implementation and evaluative case studies. Grant Ritter provides expertise in statistics and econometric methods. Palmira Santos spearheads organizational and delivery system reforms aimed at improving quality for vulnerable populations ranging from neonates to the elderly.  

As health care organizations increasingly enter new reimbursement arrangements like global and episode-based payment, Rob Mechanic has led several new studies evaluating how organizations are adapting to these new payment models.

Policy analysis is an important component of the work at IHS and is led by Rob Mechanic at the Health Industry Forum and Michael Doonan at the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum. 

IHS in the News

Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy

Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care complete merger

In the Boston Herald, Stuart Altman says the merger could decrease total health care spending in the state while improving quality and access to care, particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations.
Moaven Razavi, Scientist and Lecturer

Nurse practitioner-provided care costs up to 34% less than doctor-provided care

New peer-reviewed research from the Heller School demonstrates that, prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, primary care provided by nurse practitioners (NPs) is up to 34% less costly than care provided by physicians.
Michael Doonan

MA Health Policy Forum presents new research and recommendations in a report: Telehealth in a Post Pandemic World

New policy recommendations that provide a roadmap for the post-pandemic use of telehealth technologies in Massachusetts were presented at a virtual Massachusetts Health Policy Forum.
Karen Donelan, Stuart H. Altman Chair in U.S. Health Policy

Some places were short on nurses before the virus. The pandemic is making it much worse.

In the Washington Post, Karen Donelan says the national nursing shortage is a disaster that's outstripping capacity in many states, causing hospitals to compete for nurses.