About The JAMA Forum

JAMA has assembled a team of leading scholars, including health economists, health policy experts, and legal scholars, to provide expert commentary and insight into news that involves the intersection of health policy and politics, economics, and the law. Each JAMA Forum entry expresses the opinions of the author but does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of JAMA, the editorial staff, or the American Medical Association. More information is available here.

The JAMA Forum team includes:

Eli Y. Adashi, MD, MS, is Professor of Medical Science at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI. A member of the Institute of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr Adashi has focused his writing on domestic and global health policy at the nexus of medicine, law, and ethics. A former Franklin fellow, Dr Adashi served as a senior advisor on Global Women’s Health to the Secretary of State office of Global Women’s Issues during the Obama Administration. He can be contacted at: Eli_Adashi@brown.edu.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Ohana Biosciences Inc. (Co-chair of safety advisory board).

Andrew Bindman, MD, is professor of medicine and epidemiology & biostatistics based within the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is a former Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: During the previous 36 months (but not in 2016), there was an interpersonal agreement (IPA) contract between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the University of California San Francisco for my services on a part time basis. Work on this contract has informed my knowledge of the topics I may choose to write about for the JAMA  Forum but it does  not support the work  I do to prepare  contributions  to the JAMA Forum.

Stuart M. Butler, PhD, is a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.  Previously, he served as Director of the Center for Policy Innovation at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, where he focused on developing new policy ideas. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Graduate School. He has played a prominent role in the debate about federal spending, especially Medicare and health care for working Americans, arguing for solutions based on limited government and market competition. He was born in Britain and received his PhD in American history from St Andrews University in Scotland.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed.

Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS, is Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Health Policy and Outcomes Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also Director of the university’s Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. His research focuses on the study of information technology to improve pediatric care and areas of health policy including physician malpractice, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness, and health care reform. He has published two popular books on medical myths, and his work has been featured in many national publications. He regularly blogs about healthy policy at The Incidental Economist and tweets at @aaronecarroll.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Regular contributor to the New York Times in areas of health, health research, and health policy

David Cutler, PhD, is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics and Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration and was senior health care adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine. His 2004 book, Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America’s Health Care System, was the subject of a feature in the New York Times Magazine. Dr Cutler also was recently named one of the 30 people who could have a powerful impact on health care by Modern Healthcare.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Speaking fee/honorarium and travel expenses for lectures (from Novartis Princeton, MedForce, VHA, International Monetary Fund, National Council and Community Behavioral Healthcare, Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, Dartmouth College, Healthcare Billing and Management Association, Cadence Health, Pompeu Fabra University, AON Hewitt, American Health Lawyers Association, Parenteral Drug Association, UBS, Aetna, Toshiba, Ernst and Young, Yale University, New York University, Children’s Hospital Association, University of Pennsylvania, American Physical Therapists Association; travel expenses (from Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action, University of Arizona, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, JAMA, United States Senate, Partners Healthcare, Princeton University, New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Spinemark, US Department of Health & Human Services, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, Health Policy Commission (Comm. of MA), University of Chicago, Health Affairs, National Institutes of Health, DuPont Children’s Hospital, Symposium on US Sustainable Health, National Bureau of Economic Research, Institute of Medicine, Georgia State University, Federal Research Bank Atlanta, The Commonwealth Fund, Princeton University, Brookings Institute, Charles River Associates, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); speaking fee (from Healthcare Financial Management Association, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Robert W. Baird & Co, Bank of America Webinar, Johnson & Johnson); payment for referee reports (American Medical Association); payment for consulting on White paper and travel expenses (Mathematica); Fidelity Bioscience Advisory Board (annual honorarium). Small amount of stock for serving on Academic and Policy Advisory Board, Kyruus, Incorporated (company providing software solutions to help provider organizations match patients to the right providers, improve the quality of their referral and appointment scheduling processes, and optimize their provider capacity). Book royalties for Your Money or Your Life. Nonpaid positions at the following organizations: Institute of Medicine (member), Alliance for Aging Research (scientific advisory board); National Bureau of Economic Research, Aging, Health Care, Public Economics, and Productivity programs (research associate; Employee Benefit Research Institute (fellow); National Academy of Social Insurance (member); Institute for Research on Poverty (member); Center for American Progress (senior fellow); Center for Healthcare Transparency (board member). Information on all compensated activities can be found here.

Austin Frakt, PhD, is a health economist and Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He studies the interaction between economics and health policy, with a focus on health insurance markets within Medicare. Dr Frakt has been widely published in Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; Health Economics; Milbank Quarterly; and New England Journal of Medicine and is one of the principal contributors to The Incidental Economist blog. He received his PhD and SM degrees from MIT’s electrical engineering department and his BS from Cornell University in applied physics.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Dr. Frakt reports receiving research grant support, income, payments or honoraria from the following in the past 36 months: The Department of Veterans Affairs Boston University Harvard University Northeastern University The American Medical Association The New York Times AcademyHealth Simple Subjects, LLC W Colston Leigh Inc Indiana University Evidence for Healthcare Improvement CLF Ventures Inc Clinical Care Targeted Communications Grp The Laura and John Arnold Foundation The Commonwealth Fund The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, is University Professor at Georgetown, Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights. He has chaired numerous National Academy of Sciences committees, proposed a Framework Convention on Global Health endorsed by the United Nations Secretary General, served on the WHO Director’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Reforming the WHO, and drafted a Model Public Health Law for WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United Kingdom, he was awarded the Rosemary Delbridge Prize for person “who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society.”

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed.

Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, is K. T. Li Professor of International Health and Health Policy at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and a practicing internist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and was trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr Jha’s major research interests lie in improving the quality and costs of health care. His work has focused on 4 primary areas—public reporting, pay-for-performance, health information technology, and leadership—and the roles they play in fixing the US health care system.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed.

Howard Koh, MD, MPH, is the Harvey V. Fineberg professor of the practice of public health leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also the former Massachusetts commissioner of public health and the 14th assistant secretary for health for the US Department of Health and Human Services. A quadruple-boarded physician, Dr Koh has published more than 250 articles in medical and public health literature, earned more than 70 awards for interdisciplinary achievements in public health, and has received 5 honorary doctorate degrees.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed. Any references to a business, product, or service do not represent endorsement on the part of Dr Koh or his coauthors.

Larry Levitt, MPP, is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Senior Advisor to the President of the Foundation. Among other duties, he is Co-executive Director of the Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance. He previously was Editor-in-Chief of kaisernetwork.org, the foundation’s online health policy news and information service, and directed the foundation’s communications and online activities and its Changing Health Care Marketplace Project. Before joining the foundation, he served as a Senior Health Policy Advisor to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services, working on the development of President Clinton’s Health Security Act and other health policy initiatives.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed.

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, is the Rudin Professor of Nursing and Co-director of the Center for Health, Media, and Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the American Journal of Nursing, a member of the National Advisory Board of Kaiser Health News, producer and moderator of “Healthstyles,” a weekly radio program, and the lead co-editor of Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care and The Nursing Profession: Development, Challenges, Opportunities in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Book Series. She is immediate past president of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: President of American Academy of Nursing (travel/accommodations/meeting expenses). Payment for lectures, including development of educational presentations given during some lectures (to various universities and national nursing organizations and conferences; planned for the rest of 2012 at University of Virginia, St Louis University, University of Minnesota, Danish Nurses Organization, Colorado Center for Nursing, NYC School Nurses, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, and University of Michigan). Consultancies (National Advisory Committee for Kaiser Health News, University of New Mexico for evaluation of Doctoral Nursing Program in Health Policy, AARP [Strategic Advisor, Future of Nursing Campaign for Action]). Royalties from Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care. Dr. Mason reports personal fees from AARP, personal fees from International Council of Nurses, other from Elsevier Publishing, outside the submitted work. She is on the board of directors of Public Health Solutions, the largest nonprofit in NYC focused on public health; and the Primary Care Development Corporation, a CDFI that focuses on building capacity in primary care. She writes a lot about primary care and public health and will disclose her relationships with these nonprofits if she writes about anything related to the work of these two organizations.

Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, is Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He previously served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, and as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore. He is a consultant for Audacious Inquiry, a company that has provided technology services and other support to Maryland’s Health Information Exchange. A pediatrician, he lives with his family in Baltimore.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Support for travel to JAMA editorial board meetings; personal fees from Audacious Inquiry (health IT company), personal fees from Sachs Policy Group (health policy group), outside the submitted work.

Andy Slavitt, MBA, Founder and Board Chair of United States of Care, served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Obama from 2015 to 2017, where he focused on advances in health care coverage and accelerating health care delivery system transformation. He has 2 decades of private–sector health care leadership, both as a senior executive at Optum, a health services and innovation company, and as an entrepreneur.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Consulting Contracts (Alignment Health Care Exact Sclences, AVIA, WilmerHale General Atlantic, Kinnevik [in contracting] Softheon [in contracting]). Health Corporate/ Advisory Boards (Alignment Health Care, City Block, Bright Health, Somatus, Verily). Non-paid Advisory Services (Bipartisan Policy Center, Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania).

Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, (former JAMA Forum team member) has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the California HealthCare Foundation, an independent philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of the people of California through its program areas, since its formation in 1996. A board-certified internist, Smith is a member of the clinical faculty at UCSF and an attending physician at the Positive Health Program (for AIDS care) at San Francisco General Hospital. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. He has served on the Performance Measurement Committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest disclosed.

Gail Wilensky, PhD, is an economist and Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. She directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs and served in the White House as a senior adviser on health and welfare issues to President George H. W. Bush. She also served as the first chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.  She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine. She is also a current or former director of numerous nonprofit organizations as well as a director on two public company boards. Her expertise is on strategies to reform health care—particularly Medicare, comparative effectiveness research, and military health care.

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure: Personal fees from United Health Care, Quest Diagnostics (neither of which have seen editorial nor influenced view expressed); other from Project Hope, outside the submitted work.