David C. Grabowski, Ph.D.

February 18, 2010


David C. Grabowski, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Health Care Policy. Dr. Grabowski’s research interests focus on long-term care and the economics of aging. His work has explored a variety of issues related to the financing and delivery of long-term care services. Currently, Dr. Grabowski’s work considers how various factors relate to nursing home quality such as race and payer status, facility ownership, and Medicare payment rates. Previous areas of research have also examined the conflicting incentives between Medicare and Medicaid and the effects of Medicaid nursing home payment on quality of care. Dr. Grabowski is on the editorial board of several journals and is the co-editor of Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology. Additionally, Dr. Grabowski is co-chair of Building Bridges: Making a Difference in Long-Term Care, a joint initiative sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund and conducted by AcademyHealth. Dr. Grabowski received a B.A. in public policy and psychology from Duke University and a Ph.D. in public policy from Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.   

Dr. Grabowski was the principal investigator of a HCFO-funded grant that examined the impact of assisted living growth on the market for nursing home care. Dr. Grabowski and his colleague David Stevenson, Ph.D., analyzed county-level data on assisted living facilities with the aim of better understanding this market sector nationally. Much of the growth of assisted living has been driven by consumer demand and the desire to reside in an assisted living facility over a nursing home. Dr. Grabowski and Dr. Stevenson found that because assisted living facilities are financed through private funds and without government finances, these facilities tend to be disproportionately located in certain areas. These areas generally have higher educational attainment, higher income, and higher housing wealth. Because consumers generally favor assisted living facilities over nursing homes, the researchers conclude that with the continued growth of this sector, policymakers will have to contend with a variety of issues related to access, financing, quality, and regulation.

Dr. Grabowski describes the goal of the study as, “the creation of the first national assisted living database to understand how the growth of assisted living facilities has changed the long-term care landscape. As these facilities continue to grow and expand into the market previously held by nursing homes, policymakers and researchers will have to strategically think about the implications assisted living facilities will have on long-term care financing, especially for government programs like Medicaid.”

For more information about David C. Grabowski and a list of his publications please visit http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/people/hcp_core_faculty/david_grabowski.