Health Policy and Health Services Research Centers

The Berkeley Center for Health Technology (BCHT), directed by Dr. James Robinson (a core faculty member), promotes the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare through research and education on the development, insurance coverage, payment, and appropriate use of medical technologies. The focus of BCHT is on biopharmaceuticals, implantable medical devices, insurance benefit design, and payment methods. Research initiatives include leadership roundtables, case studies of leading organizations, and econometric analyses of public and private data sources. BCHT helps stakeholders design a healthcare system that combines innovation and entrepreneurship with economic efficiency and social fairness. Core faculty mentor Dr. Timothy Brown serves as BCHT’s research director.

The Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) is located in a newly-renovated 5,000 sq. ft. facility located in Doe Library at the center of campus. Current activities include shared data science fellowships in the physical, biological, and social sciences; boot camps, courses, hackathons, seminar series, and a variety of public events; development of tools for open collaborative research; outreach efforts; and data science evaluation. Efforts are underway to build stronger relationships between BIDS and both the SPH and the UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences to better integrate data science with biomedicine and health.

The UC Berkeley Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research (CHOIR), co-directed by Drs. Hector Rodriguez and Stephen Shortell (core faculty members), aspires to help make the U.S. healthcare system among the most responsive in the world through practice-based research and dissemination of evidence. CHOIR emphasizes innovations in healthcare delivery and assessment of organizational performance to improve the technical quality of care delivered, patient experience and outcomes of care, population health, and cost. CHOIR works to maximize their “voice” and impact through webinars, roundtables, and discussions with private and public sector action and thought leaders.

The UCSF Center for Healthcare Value (CHV) is an initiative of UCSF. The CHV was created to advance rational, science-driven and clinician-tested healthcare solutions that reduce cost and improve quality. Founded and Directed by Dr. R. Adams Dudley (a core faculty member), CHV brings together expertise in clinical care, research methods, implementation sciences, health policy, healthcare delivery, law, information technology, entrepreneurship, and business to address the barriers to providing high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective healthcare and innovation. Through the development of proven, replicable interventions, the CHV aims to create a national model for leveraging academic medicine to improve healthcare value.

The UC Berkeley Center for Lean and Engagement Research (CLEAR), co-directed by Drs. Thomas Rundall and Stephen Shortell (a core faculty member), is to transform healthcare delivery by providing the knowledge to help health care providers and systems eliminate waste and create greater value resulting in the continuous improvement of patients’ outcomes and experience of care and reduced growth in the cost of care. CLEAR’s mission is to conduct timely, relevant, and actionable research on lean whole system transformation initiatives in healthcare.  CLEAR orchestrates a national research and learning network of hospitals and healthcare systems to share best practices in implementing Lean, and is conducting the first national survey of Lean implementation in the nation’s hospitals jointly with the American Hospital Association.

The Center for Surgery in Older Adults at UCSF is an interdisciplinary team of researchers, educators, and care providers at UCSF dedicated to improving surgical care for older adults. Their goal is to discover and implement patient-centered best practices in geriatric surgery that will help older patients achieve their treatment goals and maintain independence and vitality. The Center is directed by Dr. Emily Finlayson (a core faculty member).

The UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFGH carries out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic disease in populations for whom social conditions often conspire to both promote various chronic diseases and make their management more challenging. Founded in 2006, the CVP is based within the UCSF Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and is located on the campus of ZSFGH. Beyond the local communities it serves, CVP is nationally and internationally known for its research in health communication and health policy to reduce health disparities, with special expertise in the social determinants of health, including literacy, food policy, poverty, and minority status, with a focus on the clinical conditions of pre-diabetes, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  CVP is at the frontline of practice-based research on chronic diseases for the diverse and disadvantaged populations of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Core faculty members Drs. Margot Kushel, Courtney Lyles, and Urmimala Sarkar are core CVP faculty.

The Healthforce Center at UCSF was founded in 1992 to help healthcare leaders and policymakers better understand the health workforce and develop successful strategies and policies. Healthforce Center believes that human capital is one of the most important elements in healthcare aims to equip healthcare organizations with the workforce knowledge and leadership skills to effect positive change. Healthforce Center is specifically equipped to transform healthcare leaders and provide essential research insights about the US healthcare system. The Center’s dynamic leadership training programs have touched thousands of people across the entire healthcare ecosystem who continue to make significant and meaningful change in healthcare. Dr. Joanne Spetz (a core faculty member), is Director of Research for the Healthforce Center.

The Hospital Medicine Reengineering Network (HOMERuN) was established in 2011 to advance the field of Hospital Medicine by facilitating and conducting collaborative, rigorous, inter-professional, multi-site, research studies to improve outcomes of patients with acute illnesses. Medical patients – adults hospitalized with illnesses such as pneumonia, sepsis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – are the largest patient group in US hospitals. Founded and co-directed by Dr. Andrew Auerbach (a core faculty member) and Dr. Peter Lindenauer (Bay State), HOMERuN, aims to link hospitalists and care teams at hospitals across the US to help identify and speed improvements. HOMERuN has conducted seminal work on how readmissions might be prevented, how hospital transitions might be improved, and studies on the utility of laboratory testing in pneumonia.

The Institute for Computational Health Sciences (ICHS) at UCSF, established in 2015 with Atul Butte, MD, PhD, as founding director, advances data science in support of basic, clinical, translational, and population health research and training. Its mission is to provide resources to support big data health research as well as to train future leaders in the field. ICHS is closely connected with similar big data initiatives throughout the UC system including developing relationships with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and the new UC Berkeley Division of Data Science. ICHS includes Dr. Julia Adler-Milstein (a core faculty member) is among its core faculty.

The UC Berkeley Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare, directed by Dr. Richard Scheffler (a core faculty member), focuses on consumer protection, affordability and access to healthcare, especially for low and middle-income individuals. The Petris Center also focuses on and the role of information in consumer choice, and regulation and competition within healthcare markets.  The research center is named after former California State Senator Nicholas Petris, who advocated strongly on behalf of California consumers for affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare.

UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) is an organized research unit based within the UCSF School of Medicine. Its mission is to foster multidisciplinary health services research and health policy research and analysis on the UCSF campus.  The primary purposes of the Institute are to: (1) conduct policy-oriented research and analysis on a wide range of health issues; (2) apply research findings to health policy issues at the national, state, and local levels; and (3) provide education and training opportunities in health policy and health services research. Areas of emphasis include health economics, the organization and financing of healthcare, effectiveness and appropriateness of care, the delivery of specialized clinical services, cost and policy issues related to the HIV epidemic and to substance abuse, physician payment issues, peer review and dissemination of biomedical publications, medication use by the elderly, child health issues, and reproductive health services and policies. IHPS includes classroom and office facilities to ensure that trainees have a common home at UCSF.  IHPS is led by core faculty members Drs. Claire Brindis (Director) and Daniel Dohan (Deputy Director, Training).

The Berkeley Opportunity Lab’s Health Initiative conducts and synthesizes economic research with the primary goals of improving lives and reducing inequality through the more efficient provision of health care services. The Health Initiative, co-directed by Jon Kolstad and Ben Handel (core faculty members), partners with policy organizations and business to conduct sophisticated economic analyses of large micro-level datasets on consumer and producer and behavior in health care markets. Primary research topics include consumer behavior and market regulation in health insurance markets, physician performance in the context of different payment and technology mechanisms, consumer choices of health care services and providers, and equitable systems for national health care provision.