Sherry Glied

Sherry Glied
Dean and Professor of Public Service

NYU | Wagner Faculty 295 Lafayette Street New York NY 10012 USA

In 2013, Sherry Glied was named Dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. From 1989-2013, she was Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She was Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management from 1998-2009. On June 22, 2010, Glied was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, and served in that capacity from July 2010 through August 2012. She had previously served as Senior Economist for health care and labor market policy on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1992-1993, under Presidents Bush and Clinton, and participated in the Clinton Health Care Task Force. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Board of AcademyHealth, and has been a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisers.

Glied’s principal areas of research are in health policy reform and mental health care policy. Her book on health care reform, Chronic Condition, was published by Harvard University Press in January 1998. Her book with Richard Frank, Better But Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the U.S. since 1950, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in 2006. She is co-editor, with Peter C. Smith, of The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics, which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2011.

Glied holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


Semester Course
Spring 2014 HPAM-GP.4831.001
Spring 2014 HPAM-GP.4860.001 Topics in Health Policy: The Affordable Care Act

The purpose of this seminar is to explore the substance and form of the Affordable Care Act. The course will examine the context and content of the Law, as well as the process from passage to implementation. 

By the end of the course, students will: 
- Be familiar with the major components of the Affordable Care Act 
- Be able to explain the evolution of policy from concept to legislation 
- Understand the process and importance of scoring legislation 
- Recognize the role and process of regulation 
- Be familiar with the arguments around the Constitutionality of the Act 
- Understand the challenges of implementing components of the Law 

Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper

Glied, Sherry and Schachter, D.R. 2014. Three-Part Harmony Public Administration Review. Volume 74 (January/February 2014) pp 112-113. doi: 10.1111/puar.12167
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This is a commentary to an article in Public Administration Review about Danish public service employee motivation. The piece that we commented on noted that there are two dimensions for how Danish public service employees can choose to do their work, and that these motivations can shift over time: the author identified public service work being done either through direct service production/delivery or through service regulation/policy. Almost all possible public service jobs in Denmark are in governmental agencies.


Sherry Glied and Stephanie Ma 2013. How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion The Commonwealth Fund Vol 32, December 2013
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Following the Supreme Court's decision in 2012, state officials are now deciding whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. While the states' costs of participating in the Medicaid expansion have been at the forefront of this discussion, the expansion has much larger implications for the flow of federal funds going to the states. This issue brief examines how participating in the Medicaid expansion will affect the movement of federal funds to each state. States that choose to participate in the expansion will experience a more positive net flow of federal funds than will states that choose not to participate. In addition to providing valuable health insurance benefits to low-income state residents, and steady sources of financing to state health care providers, the Medicaid expansion will be an important source of new federal funds for states.


Carolyn M. Clancy, Sherry A. Glied and Nicole Lurie 2012. From Research to Health Policy Impact Health Services Research, 2012. Volume 47 / Issue 01 / February 2012, pp 337-343, Published online
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The opportunities for researchers to improve health and health care by contributing to the formulation and implementation of policy are almost unlimited. Indeed, the availability of these opportunities is a tribute to a generation of health services researchers questioning existing policies or studying essential "Why?" and “What if?” questions using rigorous analysis. Moreover, the steady albeit uneven transition of health care delivery from a paper-based cottage industry toward an enterprise that provides transparent information to clinicians, patients, policy makers and the public, and potentially vast amounts of data to policy researchers, combined with the expectations of an increasingly information-savvy public, have increased the focus on health care quality, access, and costs.

Our health care system, like those in other countries, confronts continued pressures from increasing costs; inconsistent quality; avoidable patient harms; pervasive disparities in health and health care associated with individual characteristics such as race, ethnicity, income, education and geography; and poor population health outcomes. The persistence of many of these challenges reflects, in part, a failure of science alone to improve heath. Strategies to address many of these challenges exist in the laboratory, but the contribution of this science to the health of the public is limited by a research enterprise that values discovery of new knowledge far more than its successful application.


Mandar Apte, Matthew Neidell, E. Yoko Furuya, David Caplan, Sherry Glied, and Elaine Larson 2011. Using Electronically Available Inpatient Hospital Data for Research Clinical and Translational Science, 2011. Volume 4 / Issue 05 / October 2011, pp 338-345, Published online
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Despite a push to create electronic health records and a plethora of healthcare data from disparate sources, there are no data from a single electronic source that provide a full picture of a patient’s hospital course. This paper describes a process to utilize electronically available inpatient hospital data for research. We linked several different sources of extracted data, including clinical, procedural, administrative, and accounting data, using patients’ medical record numbers to compile a cohesive, comprehensive account of patient encounters. Challenges encountered included (1) interacting with distinct administrative units to locate data elements; (2) finding a secure, central location to house the data; (3) appropriately defining health measures of interest; (4) obtaining and linking these data to create a usable format for conducting research; and (5) dealing with missing data. Although the resulting data set is incredibly rich and likely to prove useful for a wide range of clinical and comparative effectiveness research questions, there are multiple challenges associated with linking hospital data to improve the quality of patient care. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 338–345

Howard K. Koh, Garth Graham and Sherry Glied 2011. Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities: The Action Plan from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Affairs, 2011. Volume 30 / Issue 10 / October 2011, pp 1822-1829, Published online
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently unveiled the most comprehensive federal commitment yet to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. The 2011 HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities not only responds to advice previously offered by stakeholders around the nation, but it also capitalizes on new and unprecedented opportunities in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to benefit diverse communities. The Action Plan advances five major goals: transforming health care; strengthening the infrastructure and workforce of the nation’s health and human services; advancing Americans’ health and well-being; promoting scientific knowledge and innovation; and upholding the accountability of HHS for making demonstrable progress. By mobilizing HHS around these goals, the Action Plan moves the country closer to realizing the vision of a nation free of disparities in health and health care.

Amol Navathe, Carolyn Clancy and Sherry Glied 2011. Advancing Research Data Infrastructure for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011. Volume 306 / Issue 11 / September 2011, pp 1254-1255, Published online
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Patient-centered outcomes research, which aims to assist clinicians and patients in making informed decisions regarding prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, is essential for improving the delivery of quality health care. Much of patient-centered outcomes research relies on observational and quasi-experimental methods applied to data generated as a byproduct of providing care. While existing data sources have improved, there remain important data-related barriers to rapid, efficient research. Recent changes in the policy environment, coupled with significant technological progress, provide an opportunity to surmount some of these obstacles.

Sherry Glied and Miriam Laugesen 2011. Higher Fees Paid to US Physicians Drive Higher Spending for Physician Services Compared to Other Countries Health Affairs, 2011. Volume 30 / Issue 09 / September 2011, pp 1647-1656, Published online
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Higher health care prices in the United States are a key reason that the nation’s health spending is so much higher than that of other countries. Our study compared physicians’ fees paid by public and private payers for primary care office visits and hip replacements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compared physicians’ incomes net of practice expenses, differences in financing the cost of medical education, and the relative contribution of payments per physician and of physician supply in the countries’ national spending on physician services. Public and private payers paid somewhat higher fees to US primary care physicians for office visits (27 percent more for public, 70 percent more for private) and much higher fees to orthopedic physicians for hip replacements (70 percent more for public, 120 percent more for private) than public and private payers paid these physicians’ counterparts in other countries. US primary care and orthopedic physicians also earned higher incomes ($186,582 and $442,450, respectively) than their foreign counterparts. We conclude that the higher fees, rather than factors such as higher practice costs, volume of services, or tuition expenses, were the main drivers of higher US spending, particularly in orthopedics.

Peter Muennig, Bhaven Sampat, Nicholas Tilipman, Lawrence D. Brown and Sherry A. Glied 2011. We All Want It, but We Don't Know What It Is: Toward a Standard of Affordability for Health Insurance Premiums Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2011. Volume 36 / Issue 05 / July 2011, pp 829-853, Published online
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The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), or ACA, requires that U.S. citizens either purchase health insurance or pay a fine. To offset the financial burden for lower-income households, it also provides subsidies to ensure that health insurance premiums are affordable. However, relatively little work has been done on how such affordability standards should be set. The existing literature on affordability is not grounded in social norms and has methodological and theoretical flaws. To address these issues, we developed a series of hypothetical vignettes in which individual and household sociodemographic characteristics were varied. We then convened a panel of eighteen experts with extensive experience in affordability standards to evaluate the extent to which each vignette character could afford to pay for one of two health insurance plans. The panel varied with respect to political ideology and discipline. We find that there was considerable disagreement about how affordability is defined. There was also disagreement about what might be included in an affordability standard, with substantive debate surrounding whether savings, debt, education, or single parenthood is relevant. There was also substantial variation in experts' assessed affordability scores. Nevertheless, median expert affordability assessments were not far from those of ACA.

Glied, Sherry and Peter C. Smith 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics Oxford University Press.
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The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics provides an accessible and authoritative guide to health economics, intended for scholars and students in the field, as well as those in adjacent disciplines including health policy and clinical medicine. The chapters stress the direct impact of health economics reasoning on policy and practice, offering readers an introduction to the potential reach of the discipline. Contributions come from internationally-recognized leaders in health economics and reflect the worldwide reach of the discipline. Authoritative, but non-technical, the chapters place great emphasis on the connections between theory and policy-making, and develop the contributions of health economics to problems arising in a variety of institutional contexts, from primary care to the operations of health insurers. The volume addresses policy concerns relevant to health systems in both developed and developing countries. It takes a broad perspective, with relevance to systems with single or multi-payer health insurance arrangements, and to those relying predominantly on user charges; contributions are also included that focus both on medical care and on non-medical factors that affect health. Each chapter provides a succinct summary of the current state of economic thinking in a given area, as well as the author's unique perspective on issues that remain open to debate. The volume presents a view of health economics as a vibrant and continually advancing field, highlighting ongoing challenges and pointing to new directions for further progress.

Kimberley Isett, Michael Sparer, Sherry Glied and Lawrence Brown 2011. Aligning Ideologies and Institutions: Reorganization in the HIV/AIDS Services Administration of New York City Public Administration Review, 2011. Volume 71 / Issue 02 / March 2011, pp 243–252, Published online
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How effective was organizational reform implemented inside one critical New York City health agency? Specifically, we examine the extent to which the reorganization of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) into the Medical Insurance Services Administration (MICSA) achieved three goals: (1) realizing synergies among the component MICSA programs; (2) cross-fertilizing ideas among MICSA agencies; and (3) facilitating HASA operations through the lens of organization change theory. Qualitative methods including interviews, site visits, and document analysis triangulate the effects of the reorganization. Implications for organization change literature are explored, especially highlighting where more theoretical and empirical studies are needed.

Erica Hutchins, Richard Frank and Sherry Glied 2011. The Evolving Private Psychiatric Inpatient Market The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 2011. Volume 38 / Issue 01 / January 2011, pp 122-131, Published online
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The private psychiatric hospital market has exhibited great volatility over time. From 1976 to 1992, the number of hospitals more than doubled, while in the decade following, the number of facilities dropped by half. Recently, however, the industry has begun to grow again. The evolution of this market reflects the response of a private industry with access to capital markets to changes in both the supply of substitutes and the demand for services. Most recently, the limited supply of facilities and expanded demand for psychiatric services have spurred renewed growth. The two leading firms today, Universal Health Services, Inc., which rode the market crest and downturn since the 1980s, and Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., a newer entrant, have employed different strategies to take advantage of these opportunities. The rapid responsiveness of the private psychiatric hospital market, as exemplified by these two firms, presents significant potential for shaping future mental health policy.


Dan Ly, Sherry Glied 2010. Disparities in Service Quality Among Insured Adult Patients Seen in Physicians’ Offices Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2010. Volume 25 / Issue 04 / April 2010, pp 357-362, Published online
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To examine racial disparities in health care service quality.


Secondary data analyses of visits by primary care service users in the Community Tracking Study household sample.

Sixty communities across the United States.
A total of 41,537 insured adult patients making sick visits to primary care physicians in 1996–1997, 1998–1999, 2000–2001, and 2003.
Lag between appointment and physician visit, waiting time in physician office, and satisfaction with care were analyzed.
Blacks but not other minorities were more likely to have an appointment lag of more than 1 week (13% white vs. 21% black, p < 0.001). Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities were more likely to wait more than 30 min before being seen by the physician (16% white vs. 26% black, p < 0.001; vs. 27% Hispanic and 22% other minority, p < 0.001 and p = 0.02, respectively) and were less likely to report that they were very satisfied with their care (65% white vs. 60% black, p = 0.02; vs. 57% Hispanic and 48% other minority, p = 0.004 and p < 0.001, respectively). The differences in appointment lag and wait time remain large and statistically significant after the inclusion of multiple covariates, including geographic controls for CTS site. For all groups, satisfaction with care was affected by objective measures of service quality. Differences in objective measures of service quality explained much of the black-white difference in satisfaction, though not differences for other minority groups.
There are substantial racial/ethnic disparities in satisfaction with care, and these are related to objective quality measures that can be improved.

Sherry Glied, Karin Herzog and Richard Frank 2010. Review: The Net Benefits of Depression Management in Primary Care Medical Care Research and Review, 2010. Volume 67 / Issue 03 / January 2010, pp 251-274, Published online
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Depression is often diagnosed and treated in primary care settings. Organizational and systems interventions that restructure primary care practices and train staff have been shown to be cost-effective strategies for treating depression. Funders are increasingly calling for a cost–benefit assessment of such programs. In this study, the authors review existing cost-effectiveness studies of primary care depression treatments, classify them into categories, translate the results into net benefit terms, and assess whether more costly programs generate greater net benefit. The authors find that interventions that provide training to primary care teams in how to manage depression most consistently produce net benefits, with more costly interventions of this type generating larger net benefits than less costly interventions. Collaborative care interventions, which add specialized staff to primary care practices, and therapy interventions, in which clinicians are trained to provide therapy, also generate net social benefits at conventional valuations of quality-adjusted life years.

Richard G. Frank and Sherry A. Glied 2006. Better but Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States Since 1950 Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
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The past half-century has been marked by major changes in the treatment of mental illness: important advances in understanding mental illnesses, increases in spending on mental health care and support of people with mental illnesses, and the availability of new medications that are easier for the patient to tolerate. Although these changes have made things better for those who have mental illness, they are not quite enough.

In Better But Not Well, Richard G. Frank and Sherry A. Glied examine the well-being of people with mental illness in the United States over the past fifty years, addressing issues such as economics, treatment, standards of living, rights, and stigma. Marshaling a range of new empirical evidence, they first argue that people with mental illness—severe and persistent disorders as well as less serious mental health conditions—are faring better today than in the past. Improvements have come about for unheralded and unexpected reasons. Rather than being a result of more effective mental health treatments, progress has come from the growth of private health insurance and of mainstream social programs—such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, housing vouchers, and food stamps—and the development of new treatments that are easier for patients to tolerate and for physicians to manage.

The authors remind us that, despite the progress that has been made, this disadvantaged group remains worse off than most others in society. The "mainstreaming" of persons with mental illness has left a policy void, where governmental institutions responsible for meeting the needs of mental health patients lack resources and programmatic authority. To fill this void, Frank and Glied suggest that institutional resources be applied systematically and routinely to examine and address how federal and state programs affect the well-being of people with mental illness.


Sherry Glied 1998. Chronic Condition: Why Health Reform Fails Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.
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Chronic Condition provides a compelling analysis of the causes of the current health care crisis and of the shortcomings of reform proposals. It also offers an ingenious new framework for reform that, while minimizing government interference, would provide a means for financing care for the less affluent.

Sherry Glied shows that rising health care spending is consistent with a rising standard of living. Since we can, as a nation, afford more health care, reform must address not the overall level of health care costs but the distribution of health care spending.

Prior reform proposals, Glied argues, have failed to account for the tension between the clearly manifested desire for improving the quality of health care and the equally widespread interest in assuring that the less fortunate share in these improvements. After careful analysis of the ill-fated Clinton plan, Glied proposes a new solution that would make the willingness to pay for innovation the means of financing health care improvements for the less affluent. While rejecting the idea that the distribution of health care should be perfectly equal, Glied's proposal would enable all Americans to benefit from the dynamics of the free market.

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