Michael A. Morrisey, Ph.D.

December 1, 2005

Michael A. Morrisey, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health, with secondary faculty appointments in the Departments of Health Services Administration, Economics, and Sociology. His current research focuses primarily on regulation in health care and employer-sponsored health insurance. His earlier work has examined managed care, cost-shifting, hospital markets, health care finance, and the effects of payment systems on healthcare. Morrisey is director of the UAB Lister Hill Center for Health Policy and is responsible for its mission to foster health services and health policy research, and disseminate the results beyond the usual academic circles. He is also a senior scientist in the Center for Aging, the Injury Control and Research Center, and the Center for Outcomes Effectiveness Research and Education, among others at UAB.

Morrisey received his B.A. from Northern State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Currently, Morrisey is working with AcademyHealth and the International Health Economics Association on a survey of U.S. health economists. Analyses of how economists spend their time and the determinants of wages will be presented June 4-6, 2006 at the American Society of Health Economics meeting in Madison, Wis. Analyses of policy views and economists' roles in policy making will be presented at the AcademyHealth meetings in Seattle, June 25-27, 2006.

Morrisey has worked on a variety of projects under the HCFO program. Most recently, Morrisey explored the effects of tort reform on medical malpractice premiums and on the cost of employer sponsored health insurance. He and his colleagues Meredith Kilgore, Ph.D. and Jack Nelson, J.D. found that the introduction of damage caps on non-economic damages over the 1991-2004 period reduced malpractice premiums by 17 to 25 percent, depending upon specialty. However, preliminary results on employer-sponsored health insurance found no retarding effect of tort reforms on these premiums.

In a second HCFO project, Morrisey examined the effects of state "any willing provider" (AWP) and "freedom of choice" (FOC) laws on the growth of managed care. Opponents argue that these laws undercut the ability of managed care plans to selectively contract with providers on the basis of price. Morrisey and his colleague, Robert Ohsfeldt,Ph.D., found that states with stronger AWP/FOC laws had HMO penetration that was 4.7 percentage points lower. Morrisey presented this work, together with some of his other work on certificate-of-need, in testimony to the joint Federal Trade Commission - Department of Justice hearings on competition in health care in 2003.

In other work supported by the HCFO initiative, Morrisey explored the factors that affect HMO and PPO hospital contracting decision. He looked specifically at the effects of insurance market competition and the relative importance of hospital costs, quality, and services. Finally, he worked with Gail Jensen, Ph.D. to investigate the effects of state mandated insurance benefits on the decision of firms to self insure their health plans, and examined the effects of small group reform on the decision of small employers to offer health insurance coverage.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, has supported Morrisey's research studying the effects of state graduated driver's license programs on teenage motor vehicle fatalities.

For more information on Michael A. Morrisey, Ph.D. and a list of selected publications, see www.soph.uab.edu/index.php