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Elliott S. Fisher

Director, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice

Elliott S. Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., is director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and the James W. Squires Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University. He is also codirector of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Dr. Fisher’s early research focused on exploring the causes and consequences of the twofold differences in spending observed across U.S. regions. The research revealed that higher Medicare spending was largely because of greater use of discretionary services, such as the more frequent use of the hospital, specialist referrals and diagnostic tests, and that greater use of these services was not associated with better quality or health outcomes. The research suggested that up to 30% of U.S. health care spending was wasted on potentially avoidable care. Dr. Fisher’s recent work has focused on developing and evaluating policy approaches to slowing the growth of health care spending while improving quality. He was one of the originators of the concept of “accountable care organizations” (ACOs) and worked with colleagues to carry out the research that led to their inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. His current research focuses on exploring the determinants of successful ACO formation and performance. Dr. Fisher has published over 150 research articles and commentaries. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and completed his internal medicine residency and public health training at the University of Washington. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.