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 a survey instrument for eliciting enrollee reports and ratings of their health plans 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 risk selection among health plans.
In collaboration with Dr. Ronald Kessler, he leads analyses of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent (NCS-A), a large study of mental health in US adolescents aimed at validation and improvement of the CIDI-A instrument and estimation of mental disorder for small geographic areas and schools. He also collaborates with Dr. Kessler on analyses for the World Mental Health Surveys and for the STARRS study of suicides in the armed forces.
Another of Dr. Zaslavsky's areas is methodology for measuring racial and ethnic disparities in care and determining their causes.
Finally, Dr. Zaslavsky is part of the Statistical Coordinating Center of the CanCORS (Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance) consortium, a major study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute to study process-outcomes relationships and sources of disparities in cancer care. He is developing methods of integrating cancer registry data with surveys and medical record reviews to better detect such relationships.
Dr. Zaslavsky earned his AB 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, and 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, of which he is a member.
Learn more about Dr. Zaslavsky's work by viewing the following featured news article on 1/11/08 and news briefs on 12/16/12, 8/14/12, 7/21/12, 6/12/12, 9/27/11, 8/24/11, 4/10/11, 1/15/11, 1/9/11, 11/1/10, 10/29/10, 2/08/10, 10/9/09, 5/28/09, 4/23/09, 3/16/09, 10/5/07, 9/25/07.