Ann S. O'Malley

Ann O'Malley.jpg
November 18, 2009

Ann S. O’Malley, M.D., M.P.H., has a clinical background in pediatrics and preventive medicine and is a senior researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) in Washington, D.C. HSC is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to inform policymakers and private decision makers about how local and national changes in the financing and delivery of health care affect people. She conducts quantitative and qualitative research with a focus on access to and quality of primary care, including the coordination of care. Dr. O’Malley has published articles in numerous peer-reviewed medical and health policy journals. She worked as part of the team that presented design options to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the Patient Centered Medical Home. Dr. O’Malley received her M.D. from the University of Rochester and her M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and then completed a National Research Service Award fellowship in primary care research. She is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Between October 2007 and May 2009, Dr. O’Malley was the principal investigator on a HCFO-funded study, Identifying Best Practices in the Coordination of Care. This study identified a range of strategies that medical practices are using to coordinate care for their patients. While many factors influence how well a physician practice is able to organize care, Dr. O’Malley and colleagues were able to identify some lessons applicable across a range of settings, which include a commitment to continuity of care as the foundation from which coordination stems. Respondents also identified the importance of system support for the standardization of office processes to foster care coordination. While larger practices may have more resources to invest, many of the innovations described could be scaled to smaller practices. Some coordination strategies resulted in improved efficiency over time for practices, but by and large, physician practices currently pursue these efforts at their own expense.

O’Malley explained that the objective of the project is to, “both better inform policy and the replication of organized care coordination processes. As many organizations begin to look at coordination through initiatives such as medical home models, there is a need for information on how real-world medical practices are faring in their efforts to coordinate care.” More information on this study and the lessons learned can be found at