Harold S. Luft, Ph.D., received his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. in economics, specializing in health sector economics and public finance, from Harvard University. He is Senior Scientist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute. In addition, he is the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Health Economics and former director of the Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Dr. Luft's experience in research and teaching has covered a wide range of areas, including medical care utilization; health maintenance organizations; hospital market competition; volume, quality and outcomes of hospital care; risk assessment and risk adjustment; and health care market reform. He has been involved continuously in postdoctoral training since 1973, having served as director of the IHPS postdoctoral program and associate director of the Health and Society Scholars program sponsored jointly by UCSF and the University of California, Berkeley as well as other programs. He led a K12 post doctoral training program funded by the agency of Healthcare Research and Quality called "PARTNERS" (Patients centered outcomes research: Applied Research TraNsforming Engaged Real World Systems) in collaboration with UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital.
He is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and served six years on the IOM Council. He was a member of and chaired the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). He also served on the board of AcademyHealth for 10 years and was co-editor in chief of the journal Health Services Research.
His current research focuses on several areas: (1) how information on best practices can be used to improve clinical care, (2) how economic incentives for providers can be restructured to enhance value to patients, (3) what methods can be used to derive valuable learnings from routinely collected information, such as in the electronic health record.
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
795 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA, 94301-2303