The National Institute of Health Care Management (NIHCM) has awarded its 25th Annual Research Award to a four-person team that includes Wharton School Health Care Management PhD student and LDI Associate Fellow Stuart Craig.

Stuart Craig, Wharton School PhD student
Stuart Craig, Wharton School PhD student and LDI Associate Fellow

Stuart and Zack Cooper, PhD, of Yale, Martin Gaynor, PhD, of Carnegie Mellon, and John Van Reenen, MSc, PhD, of MIT were selected for their paper, “The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured” published in the September, 2018 edition of Harvard University’s Quarterly Journal of Economics. The winners will be honored at a Washington, D.C. banquet next month and receive a $20,000 prize.

“Over the last 25 years our Research Award finalists have generated tremendously important insights around challenges and solutions in our health care system, and this year was no exception,” said NIHCM CEO Nancy Chockley.

Craig earned his BS in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell, worked for five years as a statistician in the Economics Department of Yale University, and has been studying for his PhD at the Wharton School since 2015.

Major findings

The team’s study used newly accessible private coverage claims from three of the five largest U.S. health insurers — Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare — to analyze prices paid for health services received between 2007 and 2011 by 27% of U.S. patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage.

Among its findings were that:

Judges impressed

“The judges were impressed with the national reach of this work and its impact on transforming the conversation about health care costs and highlighting the importance of effective antitrust enforcement,” said an NIHCM statement.

NIHCM is a non-profit organization whose Board of Directors includes the CEOs of health plans covering more than 40% of privately insured Americans; its Advisory Board consists of a group of academics, physicians and former government leaders affiliated with both parties. The organization’s goal is to promote evidence-based policymaking and promote collaboration across the field of health care.