Austin is a health economist and researcher; the creator, co-manager, and a primary author of The Incidental Economist; and a regular contributor to The New York Times’ The Upshot.
He has educational background in physics and engineering. After receiving his PhD in statistical and applied mathematics he spent four years at a research and consulting firm conducting policy evaluations for federal health agencies.
Austin now has appointments with Health Care Financing & Economics (HCFE) at the Boston VA Healthcare System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University’s School of Medicine; and the Department of Health Policy and Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health. He is also a Visiting Associate Professor with the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania.
Since 1999, Austin has studied economic issues pertaining U.S. health care policy. He is currently the co-Principal Investigator of the Partnered Evidence-Based Resource Center, funded by the VA’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative. His research interests include program evaluation, the quality and efficiency of traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and health care technology innovation.
Austin serves on the editorial boards of Health Services Research and The American Journal of Managed Care. He is also a member of the AcademyHealth Translation and Dissemination Institute Advisory Committee and the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council.
Austin has authored numerous peer-reviewed, scholarly publications, many relevant to health care financing, economics, and policy. His peer-reviewed papers have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Milbank Quarterly, Health Care Financing Review, Health Affairs, Health Economics, Health Services Research, International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, among other journals.
In addition to regular contributions to The New York Times’ The Upshot, he writes for the JAMA Forum and the AcademyHealth Blog.
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(The views expressed in Austin’s posts are his own and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, or any other organizations with which he is affiliated.)