Christopher Murtaugh

December 23, 2006

Christopher Murtaugh is the associate director of the Center for Home Care Policy and Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). He is responsible for directing studies on access, cost, quality, and outcomes of home and community-based care. Currently, Murtaugh is researching home health financing and public programs for assessing and publicly reporting the quality of home health care. He has also been studying the transition of elders from one care setting to another, and the use of technology to improve home care provider performance and patient safety.

Earlier in his career, Murtaugh worked at what is now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) where he analyzed national surveys to project remaining lifetime nursing home use at selected ages and describe their implications for public policy. He continues this line of research, focusing more broadly on projections of lifetime use of the full range of post-acute and long-term care services.

Under his HCFO grant, awarded in 2003, Murtaugh investigated the effects of a major Medicare payment system change that occurred in FY 2001, the Home Health Prospective payment system (PPS). Murtaugh and colleagues are examining how PPS affected access to and quality of care by analyzing changes in home health agency admission practices, services typically provided to patients during an episode of care, and outcomes for beneficiaries receiving home health services. The researchers found a reduction in the percentage of beneficiaries receiving Medicare home health services after the implementation of PPS. Preliminary findings also indicated a substantial change in the frequency and types of visits provided. Murtaugh and colleagues plan to explore these findings further to determine how providers have responded to the financial incentives of the new payment system.

Murtaugh received an M.P.A. with a specialty in health policy, planning, and administration from New York University and a Ph.D. in chronic disease epidemiology and public health from Yale University.

For more information on Christopher Murtaugh and a list of selected publications, see