Alan Zaslavsky, PhD

Alan M. Zaslavsky, PhD, is a professor of health care policy (statistics) in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. His methodological research interests include surveys, census methodology, microsimulation models, missing data, hierarchical modeling, small-area estimation, and applied Bayesian methodology. His health services research focuses primarily on developing methodology for quality measurement of health plans and providers and understanding the implications of these quality measurements.

An important part of his work concerns the development, implementation, and analysis of the Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey, a comprehensive program involving development of survey instruments for eliciting enrollee reports and ratings of their health plans, hospitals, provider groups and similar units and the care they receive through them, a standard analysis package, and methods for reporting results to potential enrollees and purchasers. As a statistical leader in the implementation of the CAHPS survey for the Medicare population, he has studied individual characteristics affecting responses to the survey, the main dimensions of quality measured by the survey, the contributions of the health plan and geographical location to CAHPS-measured quality, comparisons of traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Accountable Care Organizations, and risk selection among health plans.

He collaborates with Dr. Ronald Kessler on analyses for the World Mental Health Surveys and for the Army STARRS study of suicides in the armed forces. Dr. Zaslavky's interests also include methodology for measuring racial and ethnic disparities in care and determing their causes, quality measurement for pediatric hospital care, and national opinion research on health policy issues. 

Dr. Zaslavsky earned his BA from Harvard College, his master’s degree in statistics and computer science from Northeastern University, and his PhD in applied mathematics, with a specialty in statistics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and a national associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous panels on decennial census methodology, small-area estimation, measurement of race for health and health services research, and healthcare quality reporting for the Institute of Medicine and the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academy of Sciences, on which he has also served. 

Honors and Awards

Long-Term Excellence Award, Section on Health Policy Statistics, American Statistical Association, 2010

Elected Member, International Statistical Institute, 2005

National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, appointed 2004

Gertrude M. Cox Award for Contributions to Statistical Practice, Washington Statistical Society, 2004

Frederick Mosteller ``Statistician of the Year" Award, Boston Chapter of the American Statistical Association, 2002

Fellow, American Statistical Association, inducted 1997