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Adam Elshaug

(Australia) Associate Professor of Health Care Policy HCF Foundation Principal Research Fellow Menzies Centre for Health Policy (MCHP), School of Public Health The University of Sydney

Adam Elshaug

Harkness Project Title: Enhancing Priority Decision-Making in Comparative Effectiveness Research

Placement: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Mentors: Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jean Slutsky, PA, Director, Center for Outcomes and Evidence, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Co-mentor: Alan Garber, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Stanford University 

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Adam Elshaug, Ph.D., a 2010-11 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is Hanson Fellow at Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA) and senior research fellow/senior lecturer in public health at The University of Adelaide. Elshaug has focused his research in the area of refining use of low-value health services; evidentiary, clinical and policy barriers to reform and implementation. Elshaug collaborates and consults with government health agencies (federal and provincial) in Australia and internationally (Spain, U.K., Canada) to advance policy reform in this area. Elshaug is currently working with the Australian government to design and implement a formal disinvestment policy agenda within Medicare. Elshaug serves as an Associate Editor for the journal BMC Health Services Research and has published in journals such as the BMJ, Quality and Safety in Health Care, and Medical Journal of Australia. He is chief investigator on two large disinvestment research grants, is recipient of numerous awards as a new or emerging researcher, and has received over 60 invitations to address conferences as well as government, academic, insurance and health technology assessment groups internationally. Elshaug holds a Ph.D. and M.P.H. from The University of Adelaide.

Project: Adam Elshaug focused on gaining insight into how policymakers translate comparative effectiveness research findings into policy and reform processes, particularly when comparative clinical ineffectiveness is identified. The project included two phases. First, for a particular health service whose effectiveness recent research has got doubt upon (vertebrolpasty and kyphoplasty), Elshaug quantified the budget impact of reducing utilization. The second phase involved semi-structured interviews with policy stakeholders, including their reaction to the budget impact metrics. 

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Sidney Sax Public Health Fellow, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School (2011-2013)
  • Professor of Health Care Policy and Co-Director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy (MCHP), School of Public Health, The University of Sydney (2013-2020)

Current Position: 

  • Professor of Health Policy and Director, Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melboure

Selected Publications:

Brownlee S, Leppin AL, Kressin N, Dhruva SS, Levin L, Landon BE, Zezza MA, Schmidt H, Elshaug A. “Setting a research agenda for medical overuse,” BMJ. 2015

Parkinson B, Sermet C, Clement F, Crausaz S, Godman B, Garner S, Choudhury M, Pearson SA, Viney R, Lopert R, Elshaug A. “Disinvestment and Value-Based Purchasing Strategies for Pharmaceuticals: An International Review,” Pharmacoeconomics. 2015

Hodgetts K, Hiller JE, Street JM, Carter D, Braunack-Mayer AJ, Watt AM, Moss JR, Elshaug AG; ASTUTE Health study group. "Disinvestment policy and the public funding of assisted reproductive technologies: outcomes of deliberative engagements with three key stakeholder groups," BMC Health Serv Res. 2014.

Anstey MH, Elshaug AG, Russell LM, Wells S. "Can we learn anything from health care in the United States?" Med J Aust. 2014.

Schwartz AL, Landon BE, Elshaug AG, Chernew ME, McWilliams JM. "Measuring low-value care in Medicare," JAMA Intern Med. 2014.

Wilson A, Elshaug AG. "Improving value in health care through practical steps,"  Aust Fam Physician. 2013.

Lopert R and Elshaug A. "Australia's 'Fourth Hurdle' Drug Review Comparing Costs and Benefits Holds Lessons for the United States," Health Affairs. 2013.

Elshaug AG, McWilliams JM, Landon BE. "The value of low-value lists," JAMA. 2013.

Scott IA, Elshaug AG. "Foregoing low-value care: how much evidence is needed to change beliefs?" Intern Med J. 2013.

Watt AM, Hiller JE, Braunack-Mayer A, Moss JR, Buchan H, Wale J, Riitano D, Hodgetts K, Street J, Elshaug AG, for The ASTUTE Health Study Group. "The ASTUTE Health study protocol: deliberative stakeholder engagements to inform implementation approaches to healthcare disinvestment," Implement Sci. 2012.

Elshaug AG, Watt AM, Mundy L, Willis CD. “Over 150 potentially low-value health care practices: an Australian Study,” Medical Journal of Australia. 2012.

Treadwell J, Uhl S, Tipton K, Shamliyan T, Viswanathan M, Berkman N, Sun X, Coleman C, Elshaug AG, Singh S, Wang S, Ramakrishnan R. "Assessing Equivalence and Noninferiority. J Clin Epi. 2012.

Treadwell J, Uhl S, Tipton K, Singh S, Santaguida L, Sun X, Berkman N, Viswanathan M, Coleman C, Shamliyan T, Wang S, Ramakrishnan R, Elshaug AG. "Assessing Equivalence and Noninferiority. Methods Research Report," (Prepared by the EPC Workgroup under Contract No. 290-2007-10063.) AHRQ Publication No. 12-EHC045-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2012. 

Elshaug AG and Garber AM. "How CER Could Pay for Itself - Insights from Vertebral Fracture Treatments," New England Journal of Medicine, 2011.

Elshaug AG, Bessen T, Moss JR, Hiller JE. "Addressing 'waste' in diagnostic imaging: some implications of comparative effectiveness research," J Am Coll Radiol. 2010.