M. Kate Bundorf, Ph.D.

August 1, 2009

M. Kate Bundorf, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of health research and policy and a fellow at the Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University. A health economist, Dr. Bundorf's research focuses primarily on health care financing and delivery, health insurance choices, and employer-sponsored health insurance and its impact on access, cost, and quality of care. Her previous research topics include the determinants and effects of individual and purchaser choices, the effects of regulation in insurance markets, the interaction of public and private systems of health insurance, and incentives for insurers to improve health care quality.

Dr. Bundorf has a Ph.D. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a M.P.H. and M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan. In addition to her position at Stanford, Dr. Bundorf is currently a faculty research fellow in the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has also been an adjunct senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania since 2005. 

Dr. Bundorf was formerly the principal investigator on two HCFO sponsored grants. The first project, “Price Responsiveness in Health Plan Choice: Evidence for Policymaking,” is evaluating consumer price responsiveness in health plan choice to provide information that will enable policy analysts to easily and effectively apply the results to policy simulations. Dr. Bundorf and colleagues are reviewing and synthesizing literature on consumer price responsiveness in health plan choice. They are summarizing the key features of existing studies that produce an estimate of health plan price responsiveness and expressing price responsiveness consistently across studies. The researchers will also determine what factors explain differences across studies in estimates of price responsiveness. “The goal of our project is to provide evidence that will allow policy analysts to easily and effectively incorporate the results of this literature into policy simulations. Our work will also provide researchers with a tool to evaluate the results of new estimates of health plan price elasticity in the context of the existing literature,” Bundorf explains.

Dr. Bundorf's second project,  “Sources of Health Care Cost Growth,” studies the sources of cost growth among the privately insured by analyzing the extent to which changes in prices and changes in the number and types of services performed contributes to higher spending. Dr. Bundorf and colleagues are examining how changes in prices and services have differentially affected different categories of spending and different demographic groups. “Our preliminary findings suggest that spending growth is concentrated in outpatient services and pharmaceuticals and efforts to control costs should focus on these areas.”

For more information about Dr. Bundorf and her research, please visit http://healthpolicy.stanford.edu/people/mkatebundorf