Karen Davis
Karen Davis
Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care
Johns Hopkins University

Karen Davis is the Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at Johns Hopkins University. She served as president of The Commonwealth Fund from 1995 through 2012.

Ms. Davis is a nationally recognized economist, with a distinguished career in public policy and research. Before joining the Fund, she served as chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where she also held an appointment as professor of economics. She served as deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services from 1977–1980, and was the first woman to head a U.S. Public Health Service agency.

Prior to her government career, Ms. Davis was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, and an assistant professor of economics at Rice University. A native of Oklahoma, she received her Ph.D. in economics from Rice University, which recognized her achievements with a Distinguished Alumna Award in 1991. Ms. Davis is the recipient of the 2000 Baxter-Allegiance Foundation Prize for Health Services Research. In the spring of 2001, Ms. Davis received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from John Hopkins University. In 2006, she was selected for the AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research in addition to the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient Centered Care.

Ms. Davis has published a number of significant books, monographs, and articles on health and social policy issues, including the landmark books Health Care Cost Containment, Medicare Policy, National Health Insurance: Benefits, Costs, and Consequences, and Health and the War on Poverty.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Geisinger Health System. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1975, has served two terms on the IOM governing Council (1986-90 and 1997-2000), was a member of the IOM Committee on Redesigning Health Insurance Benefits, Payment and Performance Improvement Programs, and was awarded the Adam Yarmolinsky medal in 2007 for her contributions to the mission of the Institute of Medicine. She is a past president of the AcademyHealth (formerly AHSRHP) and an AcademyHealth distinguished fellow. She is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and a former member of the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) National Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Panel of Health Advisors for the Congressional Budget Office and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fund Publications by Karen Davis










Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Transparency and Pricing
October 25, 2010
2010 Annual Report President's Message: Realizing the Potential of Health Reform
October 21, 2010
Starting on the Path to a High Performance Health System: Analysis of the Payment and System Reform Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
September 23, 2010
A New Era in Health Care Begins
September 23, 2010
Toward High-Performance Accountable Care: Promise and Pitfalls
September 14, 2010
Realizing Health Reform's Potential: Small Businesses and the Affordable Care Act of 2010
September 2, 2010
Family Medicine: Preparing for a High-Performance Health Care System
August 5, 2010
Coherent and Transparent Health Care Payment: Sending the Right Signals in the Marketplace
August 2, 2010
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Delivery System Innovation and Improvement
July 26, 2010
How Will the Health Care System Change Under Health Reform?
June 29, 2010
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update
June 23, 2010
A New Era in American Health Care: Realizing the Potential of Reform
June 17, 2010
Who Is Helped by Health Reform?
June 17, 2010
2009 Annual Report President's Message: Building a Foundation for Health Reform
June 16, 2010
Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Will Be Central to Health Reform's Success
June 8, 2010
Testing of ACOs Will Be Key to Success
June 8, 2010
The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending
May 21, 2010
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Health Reform, Implementation, and Post-Reform Priorities
April 5, 2010
A New Era in American Health Care
March 22, 2010
How Health Reform Legislation Will Affect Medicare Beneficiaries
March 17, 2010
What's at Issue: Making Coverage Affordable for Every American
March 2, 2010
The Way Forward with Health Reform
January 28, 2010
The Health Insurance Provisions of the 2009 Congressional Health Reform Bills: Implications for Coverage, Affordability, and Costs
January 7, 2010


The Costs of Failure: Economic Consequences of Failure to Enact Nixon, Carter, and Clinton Health Reforms
December 21, 2009
Representative Pete Stark's "Medicare Early Access Act of 2005"
December 10, 2009
Why Health Reform Will Bend the Cost Curve
December 7, 2009
Starting on the Path to a High Performance Health System: Analysis of Health System Reform Provisions of Reform Bills in the House of Representatives and Senate
December 4, 2009
Health Reform: Insights from Around the World
November 30, 2009
Health Care Opinion Leaders Views on Medicare Reform
November 2, 2009
What Is Affordable Health Care?
October 28, 2009
UPDATED JANUARY 7—The Comprehensive Congressional Health Reform Bills of 2009: A Look at Health Insurance, Delivery System, and Financing Provisions
October 23, 2009
Forging Health Reform Consensus
September 30, 2009
On the Road to a High Performance Health System: Changing Course and Making History
September 15, 2009
Testimony--Changing Course: Trends in Health Insurance Coverage, 2000-2008
September 11, 2009
Why Health Reform Must Counter the Rising Costs of Health Insurance Premiums
August 18, 2009
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Health Reform
July 27, 2009
How Health Care Reform Can Lower the Costs of Insurance Administration
July 16, 2009
National Leadership to Achieve a Performance-Driven Health System
July 8, 2009
Finding Resources for Health Reform and Bending the Health Care Cost Curve
July 2, 2009
National Leadership to Achieve a Performance-Driven Health System
July 1, 2009
Fork in the Road: Alternative Paths to a High Performance U.S. Health System
June 24, 2009
Cooperative Health Care: The Way Forward?
June 22, 2009
Front and Center: Ensuring that Health Reform Puts People First
June 11, 2009
Bending the Health Care Cost Curve: Lessons from the Past
May 26, 2009
Achieving Health Care Reform—How Physicians Can Help
May 21, 2009
Meeting Enrollees' Needs: How Do Medicare and Employer Coverage Stack Up?
May 12, 2009
Progressive or Regressive? A Second Look at the Tax Exemption for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums
May 8, 2009
Ensuring Accountability: How a Global Fee Could Improve Hospital Care and Generate Savings
April 29, 2009
Health Care Opinion Leaders Views on Slowing the Growth of Health Care Costs
April 27, 2009
Can Patient-Centered Medical Homes Transform Health Care Delivery?
March 27, 2009
Reforming Provider Payment: Essential Building Block for Health Reform
March 20, 2009
Testimony--Putting the U.S. Health System on the Path to High Performance
March 11, 2009
Compassionate and Challenging Changes in Health Care
February 25, 2009
Investing in Health Care Reform
February 19, 2009
Health Information Technology: Key Lever in Health System Transformation
January 26, 2009
Testimony--Closing the Quality Chasm: Opportunities and Strategies for Moving Toward a High Performance Health System
January 1, 2009
Using Medicare Payment Policy to Transform the Health System: A Framework for Improving Performance
January 1, 2009
Health Information Technology and Physician Perceptions of Quality of Care and Satisfaction
January 1, 2009
You Can Get There from Here: Mapping the Way to a Transformed U.S. Health System
January 1, 2009
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Priorities for the Obama Administration
January 1, 2009
Aiming High for the U.S. Health System: A Context for Health Reform
January 1, 2009


The Commonwealth Fund at 90
December 17, 2008
Health Reform in a New Era: Options for the Obama Administration
November 7, 2008
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Payment System Reform
November 1, 2008
Reducing Preventable Deaths Through Improved Health System Performance
October 9, 2008
The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals: Choices for America
October 1, 2008
Controlling Health Spending: Lessons from Abroad
October 1, 2008
The Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Plans: Important Choices for the Nation
September 16, 2008
Testimony--Using What Works: Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program as a Base for Health Care Reform
September 1, 2008
Testimony--Shifting Health Care Financial Risk to Families Is Not a Sound Strategy: The Changes Needed to Ensure Americans' Health Security
September 1, 2008
Continuous Innovation in Health Care: Implications of the Geisinger Experience
September 1, 2008
Delivering Change Through Health System Organization
August 14, 2008
Organizing the U.S. Health Care Delivery System for High Performance
August 1, 2008
Health of the Nation--Coverage for All Americans
August 1, 2008
Headed in the Wrong Direction: The 2008 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance
July 17, 2008
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on the Future of Long-Term Care
July 1, 2008
Insurance in Name Only
June 24, 2008
Testimony--Public Programs: Critical Building Blocks in Health Reform
June 1, 2008
Making Nursing Homes Desirable Places to Live and Work
May 22, 2008
The Building Blocks of Health Reform: Achieving Universal Coverage and Health System Savings
May 1, 2008
Building Blocks for Reform: Achieving Universal Coverage with Private and Public Group Health Insurance
May 1, 2008
U.S. Variations in Child Health System Performance: A State Scorecard
May 1, 2008
Get Organized: How to Streamline Health Care Delivery
April 28, 2008
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Health Care Delivery System Reform
April 1, 2008
Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities by Improving Health Care Quality
March 31, 2008
Testimony--Health and Wealth: Measuring Health System Performance
March 1, 2008
Medicare: Starting Now on the Path to Higher Value
February 28, 2008
Learning From Taiwan: Experience with Universal Health Insurance
February 1, 2008
A Prescription for Our Nation's Ailing Health Care System
January 24, 2008
A Prescription for Our Nation's Ailing Health Care System
January 1, 2008
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on the Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Plans
January 1, 2008


Top 10 Health Policy Stories of 2007
December 19, 2007
Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending
December 1, 2007
Health Care: Solutions Without Borders
November 26, 2007
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on the Transparency of Health Care Quality and Price Information in the United States
November 1, 2007
Making Payment Reform Possible
October 23, 2007
A Roadmap to Health Insurance for All: Principles for Reform
October 1, 2007
The Presidential Candidates' Health Care Plans: A First Look
September 26, 2007
State Health System Performance and State Health Reform
September 1, 2007
SCHIP--Pairing Coverage Expansions with System Reform
August 23, 2007
Rewarding Excellence and Efficiency in Medicare Payments
August 1, 2007
Medical Homes Could Improve Care for All
July 20, 2007
An Analysis of Leading Congressional Health Care Bills, 2005-2007: Part II, Quality and Efficiency
July 1, 2007
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on the Quality and Safety of Health Care in the United States
July 1, 2007
Spreading State Success
June 15, 2007
Closing the Divide: How Medical Homes Promote Equity in Health Care—Results from the Commonwealth Fund 2006 Health Care Quality Survey
June 1, 2007
How Employers Can Help Create a High Performance Health System
May 21, 2007
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care
May 1, 2007
New Proposals Would Share Responsibility for Insurance Coverage
April 13, 2007
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Priorities for SCHIP Reauthorization
April 1, 2007
Federal Leadership Needed to Support State Coverage Initiatives
March 8, 2007
The Best Health System in the World
March 1, 2007
An Analysis of Leading Congressional Health Care Bills, 2005-2007: Part I, Insurance Coverage
March 1, 2007
Paying for Care Episodes and Care Coordination
March 1, 2007
The 2007 State of the Union Address: The President's Health Insurance Proposal Is Not a Solution
February 1, 2007
Uninsured in America: Problems and Possible Solutions
February 1, 2007
Models for Achieving the Best Health System in the World
January 17, 2007
Learning from High Performance Health Systems Around the Globe
January 1, 2007
Slowing the Growth of U.S. Health Care Expenditures: What Are the Options?
January 1, 2007
Health Care Spending: An Encouraging Sign?
January 1, 2007
Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Priorities for the New Congress
January 1, 2007


No Place Like Home
December 19, 2006
Election 2006 Offers Hope for Health Care Reform
November 10, 2006
The Role of States in Achieving a High Performance Health System
October 16, 2006
Workers Shouldering the Erosion of Employer Coverage
September 7, 2006
U.S. Health System Performance: A National Scorecard
September 1, 2006
Squeezed: Why Rising Exposure to Health Care Costs Threatens the Health and Financial Well-Being of American Families
September 1, 2006
Nursing Homes 101
August 16, 2006
Achieving a High Performance Health System: High Reliability Organizations Within a Broader Agenda
August 1, 2006
Public Views on Shaping the Future of the U.S. Health System
August 1, 2006
Saving Lives, Raising Hopes
July 7, 2006
Medicare's Drug Benefit: The Long View
June 1, 2006
Health Insurance for All: What Massachusetts Can Teach Us
May 12, 2006
Transparency in Health Care: The Time Has Come
April 7, 2006
Adoption of Patient-Centered Care Practices by Physicians
April 1, 2006
Gaps in Health Insurance: An All-American Problem
April 1, 2006
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An Update on the Quality of American Health Care Through the Patient's Lens
April 1, 2006
Patients' Role in a High-Performing Health System
March 14, 2006
The State of the Health Care System
February 1, 2006
Medicare at Forty
February 1, 2006
Aiming High: Targets for the U.S. Health System
January 13, 2006
Health Coverage for Aging Baby Boomers: Findings from The Commonwealth Fund Survey of Older Adults
January 1, 2006
President's Message: Aiming High
January 1, 2006


High-Performance Health Care: It Takes a World of Innovations
November 15, 2005
Taking the Pulse of Health Care Systems: Experiences of Patients with Health Problems in Six Countries
November 1, 2005
Patient-Centered Care: There's Something Splendid in Denmark
October 14, 2005
Medicare Extra: A Comprehensive Benefit Option for Medicare Beneficiaries
October 1, 2005
A 2020 Vision of Patient-Centered Primary Care
October 1, 2005
Medicaid: The Next 40 Years
September 6, 2005
Toward a High Performance Health System: New Commonwealth Fund Commission
September 1, 2005
To Err Is Human; To Fail to Improve Is Unconscionable
August 15, 2005
A Look at Working-Age Caregivers' Roles, Health Concerns, and Need for Support
August 1, 2005
Health and Productivity Among U.S. Workers
August 1, 2005
Medicare: Time for a New Preamble
July 26, 2005
State Innovations
June 15, 2005
A Shared Responsibility: U.S. Employers and the Provision of Health Insurance to Employees
June 1, 2005
Will You Still Need Me? The Health and Financial Security of Older Americans
June 1, 2005
Medicare Health Accounts: A New Policy Option to Help Adults Save for Health Care Expenses Not Covered by Medicare
June 1, 2005
What to Do About Health Care Costs? Views of Health Care Leaders
May 13, 2005
Taking a Walk on the Supply Side: 10 Steps to Control Health Care Costs
April 15, 2005
How High Is Too High? Implications of High-Deductible Health Plans
April 1, 2005
Opinion Leaders Say Uninsured Rate Could Be Halved in a Decade
March 8, 2005
Ten Points for Transforming the U.S. Health Care System
February 15, 2005
Taking the Pulse: The Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey
January 15, 2005
Transformational Change: A Ten-Point Strategy to Achieve Better Health Care for All
January 1, 2005











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