Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin, Ph.D., is the Director of the ONCâ€™s Office of Economic Analysis and Modeling. In that role she seeks to:
- Use economic analysis and models to describe and understand the factors driving: a) the adoption, meaningful use, and interoperability of EHRs; and b) information exchange.
- Generate reports, data, and strategies to measure ONCâ€™s progress towards its goals and to help ONC achieve those goals. Provide consultation on methodologies and metrics for the design and evaluation of ONC grants, contracts, and programs.
- Contribute to ONCâ€™s regulatory processes and policy-development activities involving the analysis of costs, benefits, market forces, and other economic issues.
- Represent ONC in departmental discussions involving health policy, economics, and data analysis and policies/reforms that would leverage Health IT and in the broader health economics and health services research community.
Dr. Buntin was previously deputy director of RAND Health's Economics, Financing, and Organization Program, director of Public Sector Initiatives for RAND Health, and co-director of the Bing Center for Health Economics. Her research at RAND focused on insurance benefit design, health insurance markets, provider payment, and the care use and needs of the elderly. Her most recent projects included: an analysis of the best way to design a national health insurance pooling system or "connector;" a study of the effects of consumer-directed health care on health care access, costs, and quality involving over 40 employers offering consumer-directed plans; and an NIA-funded study of the effects of Medicare payment changes on post-acute care costs and outcomes. Dr. Buntin has also worked on projects and published in the areas of disease management, the market for individual health insurance, Medicare payment for post-acute care, the financing of end-of-life care, physician payment, and Medicare managed care plan design and payment. She graduated from the Ph.D. Program in Health Policy at Harvard University where she concentrated in health economics and specialized in the economics of the Medicare program.