Aging, Disability, and End of Life

Research in this area covers long-term care, hospice care, and end-of-life care. Recently we started work on disability policy with studies examining care received by those with disabilities. We are also studying the implications of different models of coverage for dual-eligible beneficiaries who receive health care through Medicare and long-term care through Medicaid. Faculty also study the role of Medicare Part D in nursing homes across the country.

Recently we have begun work on disability policy, with studies specifically examining health care received by those with disabilities.  Much of this work is done in collaboration with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Human Capital of Disabled Workers

Health and Human Capital over the Life Course

Disability Among Older Low-Skilled Workers

Cardiac Care

Early on, HCP began research on cardiovascular disease through several large federal grants, notably the patient outcomes research teams. These studies developed quality measures for treatment of congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarction. More recently HCP researchers compared cardiac care in the VA and Medicare, and performed analyses for hospital report cards on outcomes of cardiac care in Massachusetts.

Mental Health and Substance Use

The WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative, led by investigators from HCP, has been instrumental in documenting the global burden of mental disorders and creating a collaborative network of international researchers. Faculty study adult ADHD, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and opioid use disorder, and the effects of mental-health parity legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare Part D on drugs and treatment for mental disorders.


Increased clinical activity in cancer and associated changes in financing have enabled us to perform several types of studies, including evaluation of quality of care and outcomes in the VA system as well as variations in care and reasons for underuse of care within the VA. We have partnered with Abt Associates to evaluate the CMS Oncology Cancer Model, a new payment and care delivery model for chemotherapy administration to cancer patients. Other areas include adoption and diffusion of new chemotherapeutic agents, the effect of cost sharing on the use of oral chemotherapeutic agents, effects of breast-density legislation on the use of supplemental imaging and biopsies, and care for cancer patients at the end of life.