Bruce Stuart, Ph.D.

August 1, 2007

Bruce Stuart, Ph.D., is professor and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Stuart is an economist and health services researcher, who recently completed studies examining insurance effects on drug use for vulnerable elderly populations, medication utilization patterns for Medicare beneficiaries with eight common chronic conditions, and hospital cost offsets associated with prescription coverage and use. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Stuart serves on the editorial boards of Health Affairs and the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, and also serves on scientific review committees for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and several private foundations. Dr. Stuart also heads the University of Maryland DEcIDE (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness) Research Center, one of 13 national centers funded by AHRQ to conduct comparative drug effectiveness studies. This May, Dr. Stuart was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

Dr. Stuart received his economics training at Whitman College and Washington State University. In the late 1970's he became the Director of the Health Research Division in the Michigan Medicaid Program, after beginning his health services research career as an economic analyst. Following his work with the Michigan Medicaid Program, Dr. Stuart moved into academics, teaching health economics, finance, and research methods at the University of Massachusetts and The Pennsylvania State University. In 1997, Dr. Stuart joined the faculty of the University of Maryland 's School of Pharmacy as the Parke-Davis endowed Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, and was selected as a Maryland Eminent Scholar for his work in geriatric drug use. Dr. Stuart has directed more than 40 grants and contracts from the National Institute on Aging, AHRQ, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services, private foundations, state governments, and private corporations.

Currently, Dr. Stuart is the principal investigator for a HCFO-sponsored study examining Medicare beneficiaries' response to coverage gaps versus actuarially equivalent continuous coverage for prescription drugs. This study is examining whether Medicare beneficiaries are likely to react differently when faced with the donut-hole "gap" in Medicare Part D than they would with actuarially equivalent continuous coverage. This grant builds off a previous HCFO-sponsored study completed by Dr. Stuart assessing the effects of gaps in drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries with common chronic diseases. That study found that gaps in drug coverage lead to reduced utilization rates and that the effects are magnified for those with common chronic disease. This more recent grant aims to challenge the hypothesis that actuarially equivalent but structurally different cost-sharing arrangements have similar impacts on beneficiaries' prescription drug utilization patterns. The researchers also aim to determine whether the relationship between use and benefit structure is sensitive to the overall generosity of insurance coverage. Dr. Stuart believes that the findings will be useful to private payers as they search for a cost sharing formula that contains costs while minimizing disruption in medication regimens.