Research and Cost Trends

David Auerbach, Senior Director

The Research and Cost Trends (RCT) department fulfills the HPC’s statutory charge to examine spending trends and underlying factors and to develop evidence-based recommendations for strategies to increase the efficiency of the health care system. Using key data sources such as the state’s all-payer claims database (APCD) and cutting edge methods, RCT draws on significant research and analytical expertise to inform, motivate, and support action to achieve the benchmark and the goals of Chapter 224. RCT is responsible for producing the HPC’s annual health care cost trends report and contributes subject matter expertise to the annual hearing on cost trends as well as special research projects as determined by the Executive Director and the Board. RCT is led by David Auerbach, PhD.

About the Director

David Auerbach, PhD is a health economist and currently Senior Director for Research and Cost Trends at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. His work has spanned a number of focus areas including understanding employer markets for insurance, spending trends and cost drivers, primary care and the health care workforce. He has specialized in, and is a nationally-recognized expert on the workforce of registered nurses, physicians, and nurse practitioners and has authored and co-authored several dozen publications in journals including NEJMJAMA, and Health Affairs. Prior to working at the HPC, he was a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation in Boston and prior to that, he was a principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington DC where he co-developed the model used to analyze the Affordable Care Act. He has a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy from MIT and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University.

Massachusetts Health Policy Commission  

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) is an independent state agency charged with monitoring health care spending growth in Massachusetts and providing data-driven policy recommendations regarding health care delivery and payment system reform. The HPC’s mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and equitable health care system through its independent policy leadership and innovative investment programs. The HPC’s goal is better health and better care – at a lower cost – for all residents across the Commonwealth.

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