Photo of Alan M. Zaslavsky,  PhD

Alan M. Zaslavsky, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School
Phone: (617) 432-2441
Fax: (617) 432-0173

Alan M. Zaslavsky, PhD

Harvard Medical School


  • Professor, Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School


Research Abstract

My research topics in health care policy center on measurement of the

quality of care provided by health plans through consumer assessments and

clinical and administrative data. I am also interested in racial/ethnic

and socioeconomic disparities in quality of care. I am an investigator

on a project in collaboration with the California Cancer Registry and

regional registries that examines quality of care for colorectal cancer

using registry data, patient surveys, and a physician follow-back survey.

In this project we have developed new statistical methodology for correcting

treatment data in Registry records for underreporting. I am currently an

investigator in the NCI-funded CanCORS (Cancer Consortium for Outcomes

Research and Surveillance) study, both as part of the Statistical

Coordinating Center (based at DFCI) and through a research site that is a

collaboration of Harvard Medical School and the Northern California cancer


To these projects I bring my experience as a lead statistical investigator

in the core development project of the Consumer Assessments of Health

Plans Study (CAHPS), the CAHPS implementation for Medicare managed care,

and an AHRQ-funded project on expansion of the HEDIS clinical quality

measures. My statistical research interests include surveys, census

methodology, small area estimation, official statistics, missing data,

hierarchical modeling, and Bayesian methodology.


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  • Brault MW, Landon BE, Zaslavsky AM. Validating Reports of Chronic Conditions in the Medicare CAHPS Survey. Med Care 2019; 57:830-835. PubMed
  • McGregor AJ, Blendon RJ, Zaslavsky AM. Examining Christian views toward the Affordable Care Act: The importance of race and denomination. J Prev Interv Community 2019. PubMed
  • Kessler RC, Bossarte RM, Luedtke A, Zaslavsky AM, Zubizarreta JR. Machine learning methods for developing precision treatment rules with observational data. Behav Res Ther 2019; 120:103412. PubMed
  • Cai T, Zaslavsky AM. Bayesian hierarchical modeling of substate area estimates from the Medicare CAHPS survey. Stat Med 2019; 38:1662-1677. PubMed
  • Jeffries N, Zaslavsky AM, Diez Roux AV, Creswell JW, Palmer RC, Gregorich SE, Reschovsky JD, Graubard BI, Choi K, Pfeiffer RM, Zhang X, Breen N. Methodological Approaches to Understanding Causes of Health Disparities. Am J Public Health 2019; 109:S28-S33. PubMed
  • Elliott MN, Klein DJ, Kallaur P, Brown JA, Hays RD, Orr N, Zaslavsky AM, Beckett MK, Gaillot S, Edwards CA, Haviland AM. Using predicted Spanish preference to target bilingual mailings in a mail survey with telephone follow-up. Health Serv Res 2018. PubMed
  • Landon BE, Keating NL, Onnela JP, Zaslavsky AM, Christakis NA, O'Malley AJ. Patient-Sharing Networks of Physicians and Health Care Utilization and Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries. JAMA Intern Med 2018; 178:66-73. PubMed
  • Mays GP, Atherly AJ, Zaslavsky AM. The Economics of Public Health: Missing Pieces to the Puzzle of Health System Reform. Health Serv Res 2017; 52 Suppl 2:2275-2284. PubMed
  • Roberts ET, Zaslavsky AM, McWilliams JM. The Value-Based Payment Modifier: Program Outcomes and Implications for Disparities. Ann Intern Med 2017. PubMed
  • Foo PK, Frankel RM, McGuire TG, Zaslavsky AM, Lafata JE, Tai-Seale M. Patient and Physician Race and the Allocation of Time and Patient Engagement Efforts to Mental Health Discussions in Primary Care: An Observational Study of Audiorecorded Periodic Health Examinations. J Ambul Care Manage 2017. PubMed
  • Rose S, Zaslavsky AM, McWilliams JM. Variation In Accountable Care Organization Spending And Sensitivity To Risk Adjustment: Implications For Benchmarking. Health Aff (Millwood) 2016; 35:440-8. PubMed
  • Elliott MN, Landon BE, Zaslavsky AM, Edwards C, Orr N, Beckett MK, Mallett J, Cleary PD. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Enrollees Report Less Positive Experiences Than Their Medicare Advantage Counterparts. Health Aff (Millwood) 2016; 35:456-63. PubMed
  • Hero JO, Blendon RJ, Zaslavsky AM, Campbell AL. Understanding What Makes Americans Dissatisfied With Their Health Care System: An International Comparison. Health Aff (Millwood) 2016; 35:502-9. PubMed
  • Kessler RC, van Loo HM, Wardenaar KJ, Bossarte RM, Brenner LA, Ebert DD, de Jonge P, Nierenberg AA, Rosellini AJ, Sampson NA, Schoevers RA, Wilcox MA, Zaslavsky AM. Using patient self-reports to study heterogeneity of treatment effects in major depressive disorder. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 2016. PubMed
  • Keating NL, Kouri EM, He Y, Freedman RA, Volya R, Zaslavsky AM. Location Isn't Everything: Proximity, Hospital Characteristics, Choice of Hospital, and Disparities for Breast Cancer Surgery Patients. Health Serv Res 2016. PubMed
  • Kessler RC, van Loo HM, Wardenaar KJ, Bossarte RM, Brenner LA, Cai T, Ebert DD, Hwang I, Li J, de Jonge P, Nierenberg AA, Petukhova MV, Rosellini AJ, Sampson NA, Schoevers RA, Wilcox MA, Zaslavsky AM. Testing a machine-learning algorithm to predict the persistence and severity of major depressive disorder from baseline self-reports. Mol Psychiatry 2016. PubMed
  • Kessler RC, Stein MB, Bliese PD, Bromet EJ, Chiu WT, Cox KL, Colpe LJ, Fullerton CS, Gilman SE, Gruber MJ, Heeringa SG, Lewandowski-Romps L, Millikan-Bell A, Naifeh JA, Nock MK, Petukhova MV, Rosellini AJ, Sampson NA, Schoenbaum M, Zaslavsky AM, Ursano RJ. Occupational differences in US Army suicide rates. 2015; 45:3293-304. PubMed
  • Colpe LJ, Naifeh JA, Aliaga PA, Sampson NA, Heeringa SG, Stein MB, Ursano RJ, Fullerton CS, Nock MK, Schoenbaum ML, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC, . Mental Health Treatment Among Soldiers With Current Mental Disorders in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service Members (Army STARRS). Mil Med 2015; 180:1041-51. PubMed
  • Khan A, Nakamura MM, Zaslavsky AM, Jang J, Berry JG, Feng JY, Schuster MA. Same-Hospital Readmission Rates as a Measure of Pediatric Quality of Care. JAMA Pediatr 2015; 169:905-12. PubMed
  • Toomey SL, Zaslavsky AM, Elliott MN, Gallagher PM, Fowler FJ, Klein DJ, Shulman S, Ratner J, McGovern C, LeBlanc JL, Schuster MA. The Development of a Pediatric Inpatient Experience of Care Measure: Child HCAHPS. Pediatrics 2015; 136:360-9. PubMed
  • Berry JG, Zaslavsky AM, Toomey SL, Chien AT, Jang J, Bryant MC, Klein DJ, Kaplan WJ, Schuster MA. Recognizing Differences in Hospital Quality Performance for Pediatric Inpatient Care. Pediatrics 2015. PubMed
  • Chawla N, Urato M, Ambs A, Schussler N, Hays RD, Clauser SB, Zaslavsky AM, Walsh K, Schwartz M, Halpern M, Gaillot S, Goldstein EH, Arora NK. Unveiling SEER-CAHPS®: a new data resource for quality of care research. J Gen Intern Med 2015. PubMed
  • Elliott MN, Cohea CW, Lehrman WG, Goldstein EH, Cleary PD, Giordano LA, Beckett MK, Zaslavsky AM. Accelerating Improvement and Narrowing Gaps: Trends in Patients' Experiences with Hospital Care Reflected in HCAHPS Public Reporting. Health Serv Res 2015. PubMed
  • Swanson JW, Sampson NA, Petukhova MV, Zaslavsky AM, Appelbaum PS, Swartz MS, Kessler RC. Guns, Impulsive Angry Behavior, and Mental Disorders: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Behav Sci Law 2015. PubMed
  • Street AE, Gilman SE, Rosellini AJ, Stein MB, Bromet EJ, Cox KL, Colpe LJ, Fullerton CS, Gruber MJ, Heeringa SG, Lewandowski-Romps L, Little RJ, Naifeh JA, Nock MK, Sampson NA, Schoenbaum M, Ursano RJ, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC, . Understanding the elevated suicide risk of female soldiers during deployments. 2015; 45:717-26. PubMed
  • Kruse GR, Khan SM, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ, Sequist TD. Overuse of colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening and surveillance. J Gen Intern Med 2015. PubMed
  • Haas JS, Linder JA, Park ER, Gonzalez I, Rigotti NA, Klinger EV, Kontos EZ, Zaslavsky AM, Brawarsky P, Marinacci LX, St Hubert S, Fleegler EW, Williams DR. Proactive tobacco cessation outreach to smokers of low socioeconomic status: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175:218-26. PubMed
  • Sanghavi P, Jena AB, Newhouse JP, Zaslavsky AM. Outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated by basic vs advanced life support. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175:196-204. PubMed
  • Nock MK, Ursano RJ, Heeringa SG, Stein MB, Jain S, Raman R, Sun X, Chiu WT, Colpe LJ, Fullerton CS, Gilman SE, Hwang I, Naifeh JA, Rosellini AJ, Sampson NA, Schoenbaum M, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC, . Mental Disorders, Comorbidity, and Pre-enlistment Suicidal Behavior Among New Soldiers in the U.S. Army: Results from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). Suicide Life Threat Behav 2015. PubMed
  • Samuel CA, Zaslavsky AM, Landrum MB, Lorenz K, Keating NL. Developing and Evaluating Composite Measures of Cancer Care Quality. Med Care 2015; 53:54-64. PubMed
  • Zhong QY, Gelaye B, Zaslavsky AM, Fann JR, Rondon MB, Sánchez SE, Williams MA. Diagnostic Validity of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 (GAD-7) among Pregnant Women. PLoS ONE 2015; 10:e0125096. PubMed
  • Ursano RJ, Heeringa SG, Stein MB, Jain S, Raman R, Sun X, Chiu WT, Colpe LJ, Fullerton CS, Gilman SE, Hwang I, Naifeh JA, Nock MK, Rosellini AJ, Sampson NA, Schoenbaum M, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC. PREVALENCE AND CORRELATES OF SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR AMONG NEW SOLDIERS IN THE U.S. ARMY: RESULTS FROM THE ARMY STUDY TO ASSESS RISK AND RESILIENCE IN SERVICEMEMBERS (ARMY STARRS). Depress Anxiety 2014. PubMed
  • He Y, Landrum MB, Zaslavsky AM. Combining information from two data sources with misreporting and incompleteness to assess hospice-use among cancer patients: a multiple imputation approach. Stat Med 2014. PubMed
  • Lamont EB, Zaslavsky AM, Subramanian SV, Meilleur AE, He Y, Landrum MB. Elderly breast and colorectal cancer patients' clinical course: patient and contextual influences. Med Care 2014; 52:809-17. PubMed
  • O'Malley AJ, Elwert F, Rosenquist JN, Zaslavsky AM, Christakis NA. Estimating peer effects in longitudinal dyadic data using instrumental variables. Biometrics 2015. PubMed
  • Lamont EB, Yu M, He Y, Saltz L, Muss H, Zaslavsky AM, . Hospital-based health care use correlates with incidence of adverse events among elderly Medicare patients treated in adjuvant chemotherapy trials (Alliance 70802). 2014. PubMed
  • Okam MM, Shaykevich S, Ebert BL, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. National trends in hospitalizations for sickle cell disease in the United States following the FDA approval of hydroxyurea, 1998-2008. Med Care 2014; 52:612-8. PubMed
  • Ursano RJ, Colpe LJ, Heeringa SG, Kessler RC, Schoenbaum M, Stein MB, . The Army study to assess risk and resilience in servicemembers (Army STARRS). Psychiatry 2014; 77:107-19. PubMed
  • Ayanian JZ, Landon BE, Zaslavsky AM, Newhouse JP. Racial and ethnic differences in use of mammography between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2013; 105:1891-6. PubMed
  • Loong B, Zaslavsky AM, He Y, Harrington DP. Disclosure control using partially synthetic data for large-scale health surveys, with applications to CanCORS. Stat Med 2014. PubMed
  • Lamont EB, He Y, Subramanian SV, Zaslavsky AM. Do socially deprived urban areas have lesser supplies of cancer care services? J Clin Oncol 2012; 30:3250-7. PubMed
  • Zheng H, Zhang W, Ayanian JZ, Zaborski LB, Zaslavsky AM. Profiling hospitals by survival of patients with colorectal cancer. Health Serv Res 2011. PubMed
  • Sequist TD, Zaslavsky AM, Colditz GA, Ayanian JZ. Electronic Patient Messages to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Arch Intern Med 2010. PubMed
  • He Y, Zaslavsky A, Landrum M, Harrington D, Catalano P. Multiple imputation in a large-scale complex survey: a practical guide. 2010; 19:653-70. PubMed
  • McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Commentary: Assessing the Health Effects of Medicare Coverage for Previously Uninsured Adults: A Matter of Life and Death? Health Serv Res 2010; 45:1407-22; discussion 1423-9. PubMed
  • Ayanian JZ, Zaslavsky AM, Arora NK, Kahn KL, Malin JL, Ganz PA, van Ryn M, Hornbrook MC, Kiefe CI, He Y, Urmie JM, Weeks JC, Harrington DP. Patients' Experiences With Care for Lung Cancer and Colorectal Cancer: Findings From the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28:4154-61. PubMed
  • Mittler JN, Landon BE, Fisher ES, Cleary PD, Zaslavsky AM. Market variations in intensity of medicare service use and beneficiary experiences with care. Health Serv Res 2010; 45:647-69. PubMed
  • Rutter CM, Zaslavsky AM, Feuer EJ. Dynamic Microsimulation Models for Health Outcomes: A Review. Med Decis Making 2010. PubMed
  • Bitton A, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Health Risks, Chronic Diseases, and Access to Care Among US Pacific Islanders. J Gen Intern Med 2010; 25:435-40. PubMed
  • Min J, Zaslavsky A, Fedele G, McLaughlin SK, Reczek EE, De Raedt T, Guney I, Strochlic DE, Macconaill LE, Beroukhim R, Bronson RT, Ryeom S, Hahn WC, Loda M, Cichowski K. An oncogene-tumor suppressor cascade drives metastatic prostate cancer by coordinately activating Ras and nuclear factor-kappaB. Nat Med 2010; 16:286-94. PubMed
  • Rogers SO, Ayanian JZ, Ko CY, Kahn KL, Zaslavsky AM, Sandler RS, Keating NL. Surgeons' volume of colorectal cancer procedures and collaborative decision-making about adjuvant therapies. Ann Surg 2009; 250:895-900. PubMed
  • McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Medicare spending for previously uninsured adults. Ann Intern Med 2009; 151:757-66. PubMed
  • Friedberg MW, Coltin KL, Safran DG, Dresser M, Zaslavsky AM, Schneider EC. Associations between structural capabilities of primary care practices and performance on selected quality measures. Ann Intern Med 2009; 151:456-63. PubMed
  • McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Medicare Spending for Previously Uninsured Adults. Ann Intern Med 2009. PubMed
  • Henke RM, Zaslavsky AM, McGuire TG, Ayanian JZ, Rubenstein LV. Clinical inertia in depression treatment. Med Care 2009; 47:959-67. PubMed
  • He Y,Zaslavsky AM. Combining Information from Cancer Registry and Medical Records Data to Improve Analyses of Adjuvant Cancer Therapies. Biometrics 2009; 65:946-52. PubMed
  • SteelFisher GK, Schneider EC, Zaslavsky AM, Blendon RJ. Can quality reports help address health care disparities? Use and awareness of comparative quality information by African Americans. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2009; 20:884-95. PubMed
  • Block JP,He Y,Zaslavsky AM,Ding L,Ayanian JZ. Psychosocial Stress and Change in Weight Among US Adults. Am J Epidemiol 2009; 170:181-92. PubMed
  • Huskamp HA,Keating NL,Malin JL,Zaslavsky AM,Weeks JC,Earle CC,Teno JM,Virnig BA,Kahn KL,He Y,Ayanian JZ. Discussions with physicians about hospice among patients with metastatic lung cancer. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169:954-62. PubMed
  • McWilliams JM,Meara E,Zaslavsky AM,Ayanian JZ. Differences in control of cardiovascular disease and diabetes by race, ethnicity, and education: U.S. trends from 1999 to 2006 and effects of medicare coverage. Ann Intern Med 2009; 150:505-15. PubMed
  • Sequist TD,Zaslavsky AM,Marshall R,Fletcher RH,Ayanian JZ. Patient and physician reminders to promote colorectal cancer screening: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169:364-71. PubMed
  • He Y, Yucel R, Zaslavsky AM. Misreporting, Missing Data, and Multiple Imputation: Improving Accuracy of Cancer Registry Databases. Chance (N Y) 2009; 21:55-58. PubMed
  • Keating NL,Zaslavsky AM,Goldstein J,West DW,Ayanian JZ. Randomized trial of $20 versus $50 incentives to increase physician survey response rates. Med Care 2008; 46:878-81. PubMed
  • Ayanian JZ, Sequist TD, Zaslavsky AM, Johannes RS. Physician Reminders to Promote Surveillance Colonoscopy for Colorectal Adenomas : A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med 2008; 23:762-7. PubMed
  • Zaslavsky AM, Zheng H, Adams J. Optimal sample allocation for design-consistent regression in a cancer services survey when design variables are known for aggregates. Survey Methodology 2009; 34:65-78. PubMed
  • Schneider EC, Nadel MR, Zaslavsky AM, McGlynn EA. Assessment of the Scientific Soundness of Clinical Performance Measures: A Field Test of the National Committee for Quality Assurance's Colorectal Cancer Screening Measure. Arch Intern Med 2008; 168:876-82. PubMed
  • Soh CH, Harrington DP, Zaslavsky AM. Reducing bias in parameter estimates from stepwise regression in proportional hazards regression with right-censored data. Lifetime Data Analysis 2008; 14:65-85. PubMed
  • Yost KJ,Hahn EA,Zaslavsky AM,Ayanian JZ,West DW. Predictors of health-related quality of life in patients with colorectal cancer. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2008; 6:66. PubMed
  • Mehrotra A, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Preventive health examinations and preventive gynecological examinations in the United States. Arch Intern Med 2007; 167:1876-83. PubMed
  • Keating NL, Zaslavsky AM, Herrinton LJ, Selby JV, Wolf RE, Ayanian JZ. Quality of diabetes care among cancer survivors with diabetes. Med Care 2007; 45:869-75. PubMed
  • McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Use of health services by previously uninsured Medicare beneficiaries. N Engl J Med 2007; 357:143-53. PubMed
  • Zaslavsky AM. Using hierarchical models to attribute sources of variation in consumer assessments of health care. Stat Med 2007; 26:1885-900. PubMed
  • Zhang W, Ayanian JZ, Zaslavsky AM. Patient characteristics and hospital quality for colorectal cancer surgery. Int J Qual Health Care 2007; 19:11-20. PubMed
  • Rogers SO, Wolf RE, Zaslavsky AM, Wright WE, Ayanian JZ. Relation of surgeon and hospital volume to processes and outcomes of colorectal cancer surgery. Ann Surg 2006; 244:1003-11. PubMed
  • Trivedi AN, Zaslavsky AM, Schneider EC, Ayanian JZ. Relationship between quality of care and racial disparities in Medicare health plans. JAMA 2006; 296:1998-2004. PubMed
  • McGuire TG, Alegria M, Cook BL, Wells KB, Zaslavsky AM. Implementing the Institute of Medicine definition of disparities: an application to mental health care. Health Serv Res 2006; 41:1979-2005. PubMed
  • McMahon PM, Zaslavsky AM, Weinstein MC, Kuntz KM, Weeks JC, Gazelle GS. Estimation of mortality rates for disease simulation models using Bayesian evidence synthesis. Med Decis Making 2006; 26:497-511. PubMed
  • Keating NL, Herrinton LJ, Zaslavsky AM, Liu L, Ayanian JZ. Variations in hospice use among cancer patients. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006; 98:1053-9. PubMed
  • Malin JL, Ko C, Ayanian JZ, Harrington D, Nerenz DR, Kahn KL, Ganther-Urmie J, Catalano PJ, Zaslavsky AM, Wallace RB, Guadagnoli E, Arora NK, Roudier MD, Ganz PA. Understanding cancer patients' experience and outcomes: development and pilot study of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance patient survey. Support Care Cancer 2006; 14:837-48. PubMed
  • Zheng H, Yucel R, Ayanian JZ, Zaslavsky AM. Profiling Colorectal Cancer Care Providers by Combining Cancer Registry and Physician Survey Data Med Care 2006; 44:1-7.
  • Zanutto E, Zaslavsky AM. A model for estimating and imputing nonrespondent census households under sampling for nonresponse follow-up Survey Methodology 2006; 32:65-76.
  • Elliott MN, Zaslavsky AM, Cleary PD. Are finite population corrections appropriate when profiling institutions? Health Ser Out Res Meth 2006; 6:153-156.
  • Rao SR, Graubard BI, Schmid CH, Morton SC, Louis TA, Zaslavsky AM, Finkelstein DM. Meta-analysis of survey data: application to health services research 2008; 8:98-114.