Elaine Swift, Ph.D. and Jon Gabel, M.A.

October 15, 2014

Elaine Swift, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist for the Health Care Research Department with NORC at the University of Chicago, is the Principal Investigator, and Jon Gabel, M.A., Senior Fellow with NORC at the University of Chicago, is the Co-Principal Investigator on a HCFO study examining how employees of the Cerner Corporation, a health care consulting firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, respond to an e-tool that sends customized messages about potential savings opportunities, price comparisons, and quality metrics associated with their high deductible health plan (HDHP). Using claims, survey, and utilization data, the researchers are comparing cost savings, employee characteristics, and quality of care for employees who opted to receive customized messages versus the comparison group of employees who did not. The goal of this project is to learn how employees covered by HDHPs respond to transparency interventions and to explore ways to encourage informed shopping for health care coverage.

Swift has had a distinguished career leading research in health care services, including public reporting, health care quality, and program evaluations. For the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), she currently directs public reporting projects, including support for the roll-out and implementation of star ratings across the agency’s Compare websites, as well as the presentation and roll-out of quality ratings on the Health Insurance Marketplace. She recently led a project for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to help identify public reporting priorities for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Swift has previously led or co-led awarding-winning work for the Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.

Gabel is a nationally recognized expert on private health insurance and he currently manages projects on health reform, mental health, and TRICARE. Gabel has authored more than 135 articles in scholarly journals including 57 in Health Affairs. 

Gabel currently serves as the project director at NORC for a number of studies funded by government agencies, research foundations, and private firms. Gabel has previously worked for the Center for Studying Health System Change, the Health Research and Educational Trust, and KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. He has served as Director of Research for the American Association of Health Plans and the Health Insurance Association of America, industry trade associations representing HMOs and health insurance companies.

Gabel has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals and is a peer reviewer for 22 health services research, health policy and economics journals. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures.

Gabel is an active member of AcademyHealth and has been selected by Who’s Who in the East. He holds an adjunct faculty position at George Washington University in the Department of Health Policy. He has an M.A. in economics from Arizona State University.

More information about Swift and Gabel’s HCFO-funded grant can be found here.

This project was funded as part of the Foundation’s solicitation “Understanding the Use and Impact of Price Data in Health Care.”