Harold "Hal" S. Luft, Ph.D.
Director, Research Institute
795 El Camino Real, Ames Building
Palo Alto, CA 94301-2302
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 director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI), and a Senior Scientist. 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 now leads 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 patience, (3) what methods can be used to derive valuable learnings from routinely collected information, such as in the electronic health record.
Dr. Luft has authored, co-authored or edited five books, including Total Cure:The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2008) and more than 200 articles in scientific journals.
In the News
- AHRQ Grant Funds Training Program in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, August 6, 2012
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards PAMF Research Institute $100,000 Grant for Unique Study of Health Care Payment, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, May 25, 2012
- A 'Total Cure' for Health Care?, Palo Alto Weekly, April 5, 2009
- Chung S, Eaton LJ, Luft HS. Standardizing primary care physician panels: is age and sex good enough? Am J Manag Care. 2012 Jul 1;18(7):e262-8.PMID:22823555
- Luft HS. Commentary: Protecting human subjects and their data in multi-site research. Med Care. 2012 Jul;50 Suppl:S74-6. PMID: 22692263
- Luft HS. Advancing public reporting through a new 'aggregator' to standardize data collection on providers' cost and quality. Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Mar;31(3):619-26. PMID: 22392674
- Luft HS. From small area variations to accountable care organizations: how health services research can inform policy. Annu Rev Public Health. 2012 Apr;33:377-92. Review. PMID: 22224884
- Diamond LC, Luft HS, Chung S, Jacobs EA. "Does this doctor speak my language?" Improving the characterization of physician non-English language skills. Health Serv Res. 2012 Feb;47(1 Pt 2):556-69. PMID: 22091825
- Luft HS. Health reform: avoiding the backlash. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2011 Jun;36(3):485-90. PMID: 21673250
- Luft HS. Data and methods to facilitate delivery system reform: harnessing collective intelligence to learn from positive deviance. Health Serv Res. 2010 Oct;45(5 Pt 2):1570-80. PMID: 21054373
- Luft HS. Becoming accountable—opportunities and obstacles for ACOs. N Engl J Med. 2010 Oct 7;363(15):1389-91. PMID: 20925539