Steven Pizer, Ph.D.

Steven Pizer.JPG
April 1, 2007

Steven Pizer currently holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management with the Boston University School of Public Health and a Health Economist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Before joining BU and the VA, Pizer served as a health economist for Abt Associates, Inc. Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in 1998 from Boston College , Pizer directed a Massachusetts consumer organization and worked for the human services committee of the Massachusetts Legislature. His research interests include the economics of health insurance, long-term care financing and quality regulation, health econometrics, and policy development and analysis using microsimulation models.

In 2004, Pizer took the lead on a HCFO sponsored project which originally planned to investigate the prospects for stability and sustainability of the competitive bidding structure for Medicare private health insurance plans. With the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) in late 2003, the proposed analyses were adjusted to include the new prescription drug plans (PDPs), and regional Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). With Austin B. Frakt, Ph.D. (VA and BU), and Roger Feldman, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota), Pizer explored the impact of adverse selection in PDPs, the entrance of PPOs into regional markets where health maintenance organizations (HMOs) already exist, and the introduction of PDPs and PPOs in markets where HMOs did not have a presence.
The researchers concluded that in general, PDPs will be stable, regardless of adverse selection, and that premium support of these programs will ensure viability. Pizer notes that "huge numbers of people now rely on these plans for drug coverage, this study indicates that the most popular Medicare drug plans will be stable and reliable as long as Congress maintains the premium subsidies." Their research also found that regional PPOs would be unlikely to attract large and stable enrollments without very costly ongoing subsidies from the Medicare program. Simulation models estimated that regional PPO enrollment would cost approximately $1,600 in subsidy above fee-for-service cost per enrollee, or over $6 billion to enroll fewer than 4 million beneficiaries for one year.

For more info rmation on his HCFO work, please visit the HCFO Grants Web site.

For a list of selected projects and publications, please visit Steven Pizer's VA Web site or BU Web site.